Australian Animals at Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Thala Beach Nature Reserve is located amongst an abundance of wildlife. During your experience you may be lucky enough to spot some of these unique animals in their natural existence.
Sparse or rare in Australia the Striped Possum can be spotted at Thala Beach Nature Reserve if you are lucky – recognisable by the black and white striping running the length of its body. There are four species of striped possum, three found in New Guinea and one in Australia. Sleeping during the day in a leaf lined nest in a tree hole – it emerges during the night to leap through the forest canopy and feed on wood boring insect larvae. Very little is known about the reproductive biology of this elusive marsupial.
Typically 285 – 400 mm the Musky Rat Kangaroo is the smallest of the macropod family. It sleeps at night in a nest of vegetation and forages by daylight hours on the forest floor for fruit and insects. It is only found in a limited area in North Queensland and lives a solitary existence.
Another unique Australian spotted at Thala Beach Nature Reserve is the Red Eyed Green Tree frog. Strikingly coloured with a green back, deep yellow underside and a pair of bright orange irises it is easily recognisable. Growing to a length of 65 mm and mainly spotted in wet coastal rainforest the males are mainly heard calling from October to February – during and after heavy rain.
A common visitor to Thala Beach Nature Reserve is the Australian Brush Turkey. Typically 60-70cm in length and is easily identified by its yellow wattle hanging under its neck. The Brush Turkey is a common sight in North Queensland and it is normally spotted in forests and dense vegetation. The brush turkey incubates its eggs in a large mound of leaf and vegetable matter – which is constructed by the male of the species.
Often heard before it is seen – the Laughing Kookaburra emits a boisterous ‘laughing’ call. It is the largest of the kingfisher family and has a large bill that it sometimes uses to tackle small reptiles.
“I have been birding for 30 years and this is the best area in Australia,” says David, our bird and butterfly expert. “In the whole of Australia there are some 750 species and up here we have over 400. This is because of the different habitats and climates we have. Rainforest, open forest, dry country, swamps, mountains and the sea all next to each other !”
You will be thrilled at the colour and variety of species to be found at Thala. An early start to hear the first chorus of birds in full song is a wonderful way to welcome a new day.