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Marsupials

 

Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge has a small resident population of  this carnivorous marsupial. Nocturnal feeders on insects and earthworms. They are secretive, solitary animals and males and females are rarely in contact, except for reproductive purposes. They have a long and pointed muzzle which produces distinctive deep, pointed diggings. They build  individual, simple nest under grasses. Both resident species of Bandicoot across the wildlife refuge fall prey to feral dogs and sometimes Dingo.

Reference and Image;  Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife.

 

 

Only found on the northern and eastern coasts of Australia. Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge has a healthy population of these animals. They make individual nests on the ground consisting of simple mounds of hay and twigs that are well camoflaged and waterproof. The Northern Brown Bandicoot breeds througout the year and has the shortest gestation period (12.5days) recorded for any mammal. Secretive and seldom seen, feeding at night, eating insects, earthworms, berries and grass seeds evidence is by their pointed diggings. The overall population has decreased due to habitat loss and predation by cats, dogs and foxes.

Reference; Wikipedia.

Image courtesy of  D. Lewis

www.dl.id.au

A small population of these fantastic little marsupials reside in the Dry schlerophyll forest ( Spotted Gum, Ironbarks and Bloodwood) on Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. They are classified as Vulnerable and are patchily distributed from Cooktown to the Northern rivers area. They have largely vanished from inland areas. When alarmed they stamp their hindfeet on the ground and are known to use their tails to carry nesting materials. Image taken today in the Conservation Area of this secretive marsupial.

Reference; DECC. Threatened Species of the Upper North Coast.



An adult Squirrel Glider about to be carefully released after a night survey of  fauna at Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. They feed on insects, sap and nectar and are restricted to stands of mixed forest that contain at least one species of winter-flowering eucalypt or banksia that can contribute to a reliable, year-round food supply.

The Common Ringtail possum is an Australian marsupial. It has a long prehensile tail and their back feet are “syndactyl” which helps them climb. They eat a variety of leaves and also consume a special variety of faeces that are produced during the day when it is resting in a nest. This behaviour is called “coprophagia”. Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge has a population of these possums living along the riverine vegetation.

Image Credit; Whitford, D.

These feisty mammals inhabit much of  Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge.

This large gliding possum inhabits the tall eucalypts on Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. They can cover up to 100 metres in a single glide. Classified as a Threatened species and mammal for Conservation Concern. They occur in family groups of 2 or more and nest in tree hollows where they build substantial, spherical nests of eucalyptus leaves.

References;  N.P.W.S.  Threatened Species of the Upper North Coast of N.S.W.

Image Credit;  R. Whitford.

 

 

This nocturnal Squirrel Glider inhabits the Bloodwood and Ironbark forest on the refuge. These gliders inhabit areas which provide abundant insects, sap of wattles and gums, nectar , pollen and seeds. Photograph taken in winter with Glider feeding in winter flowering Coastal Banksia. They are listed as  Threatened species and fauna of Conservation concern due to land clearing and fragmentation of forest habitat.  They can glide over 50 metres between trees.

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