How one Insta-worthy trend is putting endangered species at risk
Some are small, barely more than flat pebbles, stacked atop one another. Others are small boulders that have been torn up and stacked to create a visually unexpected tower.
These are ‘rock stacks’, increasingly appearing in parks, beside streams, in forests and coastal areas in Gippsland and throughout Victoria and beyond.
Rock stacks have their own social media hashtag and have become an internet trend. The problem is, the construction of rock stacks is destroying the habitat of some of our most threatened species.
Arthur Rylah Institute Senior Ecologist, Nick Clemann, urges people not to remove or tamper with rocks when they’re in nature, for the sake of our native wildlife.
“People don’t realise that moving rocks to create a photo opportunity, or what they see as ‘art’, destroys habitat. The reality is, rocks are critical habitat features for many types of animals,” Mr Clemann said.
“For some lizards, snakes and frogs, rocks are the only shelter they have from predators and the weather, and when rocks are displaced, these animals are forced out and become vulnerable.