Tasmania has many species which have become extinct, or are on the verge of extinction, on mainland Australia. Having fewer introduced predators, and a relatively large amount of intact habitat on the island, makes Tasmania a final refuge - a last chance - for many species including the Tasmanian devil.
The long-nosed potoroo, Potorous tridactylus apicalis (‘three-toed potoroo’) is the most widespread of the small marsupials known as the potoroos.
Echidnas, sometimes known as spiny anteaters, belong to the family Tachyglossidae in the monotreme order of egg-laying mammals. The four extant species of Echidnas and the platypus are the only living mammals that lay eggs and the only surviving members of the order Monotremata. The diet of some species consists of ants and termites, but they are not closely related to the true anteaters of the Americas, which are xenarthrans, along with sloths and armadillos. Echidnas live in Australia and New
Pademelons are solitary and nocturnal, spending the daylight hours in thick vegetation. Rainforest, sclerophyll forest, and scrubland are preferred, although wet gullies in dry open eucalyptus forest are also used. Such places, next to open areas where feeding can occur, are especially favoured. After dusk, the animals move onto open areas to feed, but rarely stray more than 100 metres from the forest edge. The species is abundant and widespread throughout Tasmania.
The black currawong (Strepera fuliginosa), also known locally as the black jay, is a large passerine bird endemic to Tasmania and the nearby islands within the Bass Strait. One of three currawong species in the genus Strepera, it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian magpie within the family Artamidae. It is a large crow-like bird, around 50 cm (20 in) long on average, with yellow irises, a heavy bill, and black plumage with white wing patches. The male and female are similar
Kookaburras are terrestrial tree kingfishers of the genus Dacelo native to Australia and New Guinea, which grow to between 28–42 cm (11–17 in) in length. The name is a loanword from Wiradjuri guuguubarra, onomatopoeic of its call. The loud distinctive call of the laughing kookaburra is widely used as a stock sound effect in situations that involve an Australian bush setting or tropical jungle, especially in older movies. They are found in habitats ranging from humid forest to arid savanna, as w
The superb fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) is a passerine bird in the Australasian wren family, Maluridae, and is common and familiar across south-eastern Australia. The species is sedentary and territorial, also exhibiting a high degree of sexual dimorphism; the male in breeding plumage has a striking bright blue forehead, ear coverts, mantle, and tail, with a black mask and black or dark blue throat. Non-breeding males, females and juveniles are predominantly grey-brown in colour; this gave the ea
The red-necked wallaby or Bennett's wallaby is a medium-sized macropod marsupial, common in the more temperate and fertile parts of eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Red-necked wallabies have been introduced to several other countries, including New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland, France and the Isle of Man
The King Island and Tasmanian tiger snakes each have a blunt head distinct from a robust body. Younger snakes may be slimmer and similar to other tiger snakes, eventually growing up to 1.5 m in length. Dorsally, they may be jet black, jet black with lighter crossbands, grey with black flecks forming faint bands, or an unbanded grey or brown. The ventral surface is usually a lighter colour. Midbody scales are in 19, 17 or sometimes 15 rows, ventrals number 161 to 174, subcaudals 48 to 52 (single)
Blue-tongued skinks comprise the Australasian genus Tiliqua, which contains some of the largest members of the skink family (Scincidae). They are commonly called blue-tongued lizards or simply blue-tongues or blueys in Australia. As suggested by these common names, a prominent characteristic of the genus is a large blue tongue that can be bared as a bluff-warning to potential enemies. Blue-tongued skinks are also bred in captivity and sold as house pets. They are relatively shy in comparison
The Horsfield's bronze cuckoo (Chrysococcyx basalis) is a small cuckoo in the family Cuculidae. Its size averages 22g and is distinguished by its green and bronze iridescent colouring on its back and incomplete brown barring from neck to tail. What distinguishes the Horsfield's bronze cuckoo from other bronze cuckoos is its white eyebrow and brown eye stripe. The Horsfield's bronze cuckoo is common throughout Australia preferring the drier open woodlands away from forested areas.
The endearing eastern barred bandicoot is a small (640 grams) marsupial characterised by a slender, elongated head tapering to a pink nose and well whiskered muzzle. It has large, prominent ears. Its soft fur is greyish brown, while across the hindquarters are the characteristic pale bars or stripes that give the species its name. These easily distinguish it from the brown bandicoot, which lacks such strips. The belly, feet and short, thin tail are creamy white.
The Grey Goshawk is a medium-sized bird of prey (350-550mm). In Tasmania, the bird, despite its name, is all white - the only all-white raptor (bird of prey) in the world. On the mainland, two colour forms occur - all white and grey. The legs and feet, and the cere (just behind the bill), are yellow. At a distance, the grey goshawk can be confused with the sulphur-crested cockatoo. Females are larger than males.
The sugar glider is one of a number of volplaning (gliding) possums in Australia. This remarkable ability to glide is achieved through a flap of loose skin which extends between the fifth finger of the hand to the first toe of the foot. The animal launches itself from a tree, spreads its limbs to expose the gliding membrane and directs its glide through subtle changes in the curvature of the membrane. The possum can glide for up to 100 metres.
Devils once lived in mainland Australia but today are found only in Tasmania. They are particularly common in some north, east and central districts. Devils can be seen at the Narawntapu National Park, Mount William National Park, Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park, the Arthur River and highland lakes area. Look for them a few hours after sunset.
The conspicuous male Flame Robin has a bright orange-red breast and throat that extends close to the bill and contrasts with a dark slate-grey head, throat and back. There is a clear white stripe on the folded wing and white on the lower belly and undertail. There is a small white forehead patch. The bill is black and the legs dark brown. The female is grey-brown, lighter underneath and has a pale buff wing stripe and a mostly white outer tail feather.
The Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle is brownish-black to almost black when mature. The feathers are edged with a lighter brown. The legs are feathered and the bird has a long, wedge-shaped tail. It is a massive bird, standing over a metre tall, weighing up to 5 kg, and with a wing span of up to 2.2 m.
It is the size of a domestic cat with a pointed face, long oval ears, pink nose and bushy black tail. The Tasmanian brushtail has 3 main colour variations: silver grey, black and gold. The very dark possums inhabit denser, wetter forests than the grey. Pure golden possums are the result of a genetic mutation and most do not survive long in the wild because they are conspicuous to predators.
WombatThe common wombat is the largest burrowing herbivorous mammal. Indeed, it is such an accomplished burrower that early settlers called it a 'badger', a term that is still heard today. However, the closest relative of the wombat is, in fact, the koala. With its short tail and legs, characteristic waddle and 'cuddly' appearance the wombat is one of the most endearing of Australia's native animals.
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