Wildlife of the Iron Range

The Iron Range of North QLD is home to a plethora of unique and interesting animals. Recently I had the opportunity to be stomping around there and found the time to snap a few pics of just some the critters that call it home.


Rock Scorpion the ciggie filter indicates scale


Larger specimen


Interestingly these scorpions were docile and reluctant to use their 'sting'. Virtually harmless to people and rather reclusive, they are seldom seen except by those who go out of their way to catch a glimpse of them.

Australian Tarantula
I came across quite a number of these guys and each seemed to have its own 'personality'. Some were extremely aggressive when disturbed, others positively laid back. There is a huge demand in the pet trade for these animals however, taking them from the wild is illegal ... so you know - don't.

Blue Tongued Skink


An icon of Australia - the Blue Tongue is a favourite for many herpers and this fellow was certainly the largest I have ever come across, he's obviously been doing well and wasn't shy about letting his displeasure at being photographed known. Great fun.

Burtons Legless Lizard
I'm a huge fan of these little guys. They're sometimes confused with snakes - however they are most definitely lizards and have a unique hinge on the top jaw that allows them to grasp and constrict their prey, which consists primarily of other lizards.

Slatey Grey

There's a snake in there somewhere
It's only recently been discovered that Slatey Grey's are in fact venomous - however, the venom is mild and has little to no effect on humans ... so ya can safely put the broom down and enjoy them. This guy seemed far more interested in hiding than on any attempt at envenomation ...

Heteronotia binoei

I found this little Bynoe's Gecko sharing a hiding place within centimetres of a Tarantula - ah the things nightmares are made of eh?.


Palm Cockatoo
One of the worlds largest flying parrots - and a huge draw card for 'twitchers' the world over who come to the range specifically to see them.

Large [10-11cm] and strikingly patterned Mantid

Green Tree Python





No discussion of the Iron Range would be complete without including the Green Tree Python. This extraordinarily beautiful animal is only found in small pockets of the I.R and PNG, evidence of a land bridge that once linked the two countries. They are coveted by herpers the world over and prices for captive breed specimens can range into the thousands - it should go without saying that they are protected, but I'll say it anyway.

Of course the Iron Range is slowly becoming more and more of an attraction to visitors and the roads and infrastructure are being overhauled at pace. Personally, I'm not a fan and soon it'll be just another footnote in lonely planet. But until then it's worth a look if you have the chance - you may want to skip the 'community' of Lockhart River however, unless packs of starving, mange ridden dogs and emaciated horses are your cup of tea. Or you desperately need fuel $1.82 per litre or an energy drink nearly $6.00 for a 250ml can ...

Lockhart is also a 'dry' community - although it seems some plants are doing well in spite of the drought ...

I'm pretty sure it's not native
lol, ya just never know what you'll find in the bush - anyway, like I said - it IS an amazing place with spectacular animals and scenery. Just remember the human element and enjoy ... 

Comments

  1. Nice pix. Pity about "progress". I was up there about 20 yrs ago and it was quite pristine then. Lots of scrub itch. And lots of people looking for those pythons. With the roads improving, they won't stand much of a chance,
    D

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  2. Hey Dave, thanks. Yeh, I hear you about the pythons, app some are fitted with radio transmitter for a study [but I'm not at all sure if this is true or a clumsy attempt to dissuade would be poachers...].

    It should be said though that the locals are very proud and protective of their forest 'jewels' and prob keep a fairly close eye on interlopers.

    Still it is a worry, and it would be extremely sad to see more pressure put on the population than is already being exerted through 'development'.

    Cheers for the comment.

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  3. Great photos man!! I love the blue tongue

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  4. Dan my man! - cheers for stopping bro and thanks for the great comments - catch ya next week eh?

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