Sunday, 14 September 2008

These aren't in my outback - unfortunately

The safari has been unable to get out and about this week so there's some reminiscing about far flung tours today.

Most of these aren't my pictures and I hope the photographer doesn't mind me using them...So what is it?

This little creature is one of the rarest mammals on the planet, there are fewer of them than there are Giant Pandas. It is about the size of a squirrel and eats termites in the sclerophyll forests of Western Australia. It is a Numbat. Possibly my favouritest animal on the planet despite the fact I've never seen one in the wild.

Why are they so rare? Introduced predators especially Foxes and domestic Cats have had a huge effect but probably more-so has been habitat destruction.

Above is a Termite mound that has been attacked by the little chaps. They are one of Australia's few smaller diurnal mammals and spend the night curled up together in a fallen hollow log.

The marsupial below is a Woylie another extremely endangered creature with a population measured in hundreds. Again introduced predators and habitat loss are the main culprits but disease and or parasites may also be a contributing factor. I have several pictures of these animals but all are useless to show as they are very, very fast and all you get is a brown blur when the bag gets opened. Why are they being caught? There is a major study going on in the WA forests and the Woylies are being tagged to find out how far they travel, how long they live and bloods and ticks are taken for analysis. I am very pleased to have helped in a very tiny way with this project.

Sneaking about in the shed is a Bandicoot - originator of a host of computer games. I'm not sure of the exact species (Western Bandicoot springs to mind - someone correct me if I'm wrong please). These are still relatively common in some areas and their nocturnal activities are usually accompanied by a lot of loud snuffling sounds.

And finally to good old Western Grey Kangaroos captured on my mate's 'stealth cam'. Again these can be very shy creatures and I have only one photograph and that of a distant animal just before it vanished in to thick cover. In other parts of Australia they can be quite tame and invade parks , gardens and golf courses etc, but not here.

If you are in WA or even if not to help protect one of the rarest (and cutest) creatures on earth why not join Project Numbat

Where to next? The safari has a foreign trip coming up soon. What will we have to report from that?

In the meantime let us know what you have seen in your outback, does anyone have Numbats?


Anonymous said...

Now Finally you have put some Decent Wildlife up on your Blog.
Unique Aussie animals how cool is that. Now the 3 Handsome Male Western Grey Kangaroos is awesome..
Keep it UP Dave...

Janet Reid said...

A fantastic write-up on the unique and beautiful Numbat. As a Western Australian, I just love our little mammal emblem and hope that he survives well into the future, though the chances of that happening are fairly slim. I'm also pleased that you put on your blog the website of Project Numbat who are endeavouring to educate people about the plight of the Numbat and ensure that he doesn't become an extinct species. Well done....Janet, Perth, Western Australia

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Thanks Janet I hope the people who read my blog pass on the info about Project Numbat to their friends around the world. I might be 10000 miles away but I love the little darlings and hope to get to see a truly wild one some day.