When you say wildlife to someone chances are the places they think of are either Africa or Australia. Therefore for this week’s instalment of Animal Travels we’re going to exploring the wildlife of Australia.

image.adapt.1200.HIGHStarting of with Australia’s most famous resident, the Kangaroo. There are three species of kangaroo in Australia; the Red Kangaroo, the Western Grey Kangaroo and the Eastern Grey Kangaroo. All three species can be found all over Australia but perhaps the best place to view them is Murramarang National Park which is on the NSW (New South Wales) South coast. The park is 44km of coastline and there is a great abundance of both kangaroos and wallabies. All three species of kangaroo are classified as ‘Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. Fun fact: Kangaroos use their tails like an extra leg.

162626-004-C076EDBD.jpgMoving onto Australia’s next most famous resident, the Koala. Koala’s are an amazing species, surviving off leaves that are poisonous to every other species. Koalas have a unique digestive system that allows to eat eucalyptus leaves. Again koalas can be found all over Australia but at You Yangs in Victoria there is a disease free population. Koalas are unfortunately suffering from chlamydia which is severely affecting their numbers. Fun fact: Koalas are the only mammal besides primates to have fingerprints.

Quokka

 

 

Quokkas are also quite a famous Australia resident, however there isn’t many places that you can see this species anymore. They were once widespread over Australia but now there is only a small collection left on the mainland. This small collection can be found at a nature reserve at Two People’s Bay. Off the mainland though they are found on Rottnest Island near Perth. Fun fact: Quokkas can survive for a long time without food or water using the fat that is stored in their tails.

Laughing_Kookaburra_0Moving onto one of the famous birds of Australia, the Kookaburra. There are actually four species of kookaburra but the most famous is the Laughing Kookaburra which are famous for their calls. Kookaburras are extremely widely spread throughout Australia and can be found in all NSW National Parks. Fun fact: Laughing Kookaburras are the largest member of the kingfisher family. However, they don’t actually feed on fish.

whale_shark_pictureAustralia’s land isn’t the only place you can find some amazing wildlife. The waters surrounding Australia are also home to some fantastic species. If you head to Ningaloo Reef which is just off Exmouth in Western Australia you are likely to find the largest fish in the seas, the Whale Shark. Fun fact: Whale sharks can reach up to 46 feet in length!

01humpbackwhalesWhale sharks aren’t the only marine life you can find off the coast of Australia. In fact the waters of New South Wales are known locally as ‘Humpback Highway’ as these waters are part of the Humpback Whales’ migration route. Fun fact: Like a human fingerprint the tails of all humpbacks are unique. You can see a catalogue of all the known Alaska whales here.

Total_internal_reflection_of_Chelonia_mydas.jpgAustralia is also home to a few species of Sea Turtle. If you want to see sea turtles such as the Loggerhead and the Green sea turtle then Heron Island is the place to head to. The turtles lay their eggs on the beach from November and the hatchlings emerge and make their way to the sea between December and May. Fun fact: Sea turtles can hold their breath for longer in colder waters.

mo-mantas1689-920-410Another species that Australia has an abundance of is Manta Rays. Mantas are the largest of the ray family and a noticeable by their cow horn shaped body. The best place to view mantas in the wild is by heading to Lady Eliot Island in Queensland. There are several companies that offer diving with mantas. Fun fact: Mantas need to constantly swim as the movement washes water over their gills.

getty_669374512306062175.2e16d0ba.fill-1200x600-c100_tUhgVZzThe final species that I want to mention on this week’s instalment of Animal Travels is the Tasmanian Devil. This species is in grave danger from a fatal infectious cancer known as Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). The majority of the population is suffering from this fatal cancer. However, on Maria Island there is a conservation project running which is home to disease free animals. If you want to see a photo of an infected individual please click here as I don’t want to post on the actual blog in case it is disturbing for some people.

For tips and advice for viewing wildlife when visiting Australia. Feel free to contact me via email, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Click here to go on more Animal Travels.

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