Saturday, 24 December 2016

Maria Island wildlife

Here is a simple set of images that give a taste of the wildlife on Maria Island. I could say much more and post a blog on each species, but for now I prefer to present just a short list to give a hint of the flavour.

A hermit crab climbs back into its shell as it is rescued from the tideline - there were gulls and oystercatchers about.

Bright starry flowers and fleshy succulent leaves of Pink Pigface.

A pair of Cape Barren Geese - these birds, which were becoming endangered elsewhere, had been breeding well on the island until Tasmanian Devils were introduced. No geese have produced young for a few years now. The devils were sent there to maintain a virus-free population in isolation, at the cost of them killing geese and other animals. A strange conservation strategy.

A Tasmanian Native Hen, they too are no longer rearing young due to predation by the devils.

A Tasmanian Pademelon - these marsupials are about the size of a large brown hare, or a little more. Perhaps, they are just large enough to escape from the devils, as they seem to be thriving on the island.

A Bennett's Wallaby - as she scratches her ear, her joey peeks out from behind its own tail which is hanging out of the pouch.

A Wombat lies sleeping during the day. A favourite wombat past-time. This one is lying at the entrance to its burrow.

A modern, or rather, a still extant mollusc sits on the fossilised shells of extinct molluscs.

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