Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quick pics from the homeward trip

I travelled back fairly directly - via Wondonga, the Riverina, then through Griffith, visiting Cocoparra NP then driving home. I was hoping to see some geckos and was rewarded quite handsomely in the latter park.

From near the Murray:

Sugar Glider, Petaurus breviceps

Cup-moth caterpillar, Doratifera sp.

Brown Treecreeper

From Cocoparra National Park:

Egernia striolata, Tree skink.

Thick-tailed Gecko, Underwoodisaurus millii

Marbled gecko, Christinus marmoratus

Southern Spiny-tailed gecko, Strophrurus intermedius

Tassie wrap-up

Bennet's Wallaby

After spending almost three months in Tasmania, I headed back to Sydney for a job and to plan my next move. Tasmania was great. There's a whole lot to see and do for a relatively small place. There are some pretty interesting animals and it's great to see all the mammals - that tend to be very bold compared with their mainland relatives. It was interesting to see the contrast in the environment from west to east - the west has high rainfall and is characterised by Nothofagus (Myrtle/Antarctic beech) forests and buttongrass areas whereas to the east the rainfall drops considerably and a dry sclerophyll forest more typical of Eastern Australia predominates.

Southern blue-tongue, Tiliqua nigrolutea

What didn't I like about Tassie? To be honest I missed herps. While frogs can be locally common in some areas, they're largely thin on the ground compared with other areas I've visited. And there is a dearth of cool little reptiles - no geckos, legless lizards, goannas. One dragon. Three snake species, which are pretty nice, but they're all elapids, so no pythons or colubrids. There are a few skinks. Road-cruising on warm nights through the parts of Australia that I've seen always holds at least the promise of some interesting reptiles, but in tassie the herper is reduced to taking an interest in the large furry things that hop or amble on the roads.

Still, I reckon I'll be back before too long to do some more exploring and walking, and maybe find some of the more elusive animals that I missed this time around.