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Western Quoll

VIEWS: 19 PAGES: 12

  • pg 1
									                                                 ISSN 1036-966x




                                                 Issue 1 2009




    Plant
PROFILE                   Discovering
                      OUTDOORS                 On the
                                             BRINK




Sturt’s Desert Rose   Nature Photography   Western Quoll
    Creature Feature
      The camel that broke
      the environment’s back
     The Dromedary Camel, Camelus dromedarius, is an amazing
     animal that helped us to explore and develop Australia’s arid
     interior. When motor vehicles replaced them in the 1920’s,
     several thousand were set free. Scientists now think that
     about 1 million camels roam Central Australia. At this level, camels are a problem, and
     with their numbers predicted to double, to 2 million by 2017, now is the time act.


     Built for the outback
                            Hairy ears keep
                            the sand out.
                                                    Camels don’t store water in their humps, they store fat! Although they can
                                                    drink an amazing 100 litres in one go, they get most of their water from
                                                          the plants they eat.
Nostrils                                          Thick, sun-       They are very efficient at saving water. Their pee has so little
that can
close to
                                                  reflecting,         water in it that it comes out as a thick syrup. Their poo is so
                                                  insulating fur.      dry that you can apparently set fire to it!
keep sand
out.
                                                                                          They have special blood cells that can
                                                            Extra eyelashes, a third,
                                                                                          operate when dehydrated or super hydrated.
                                                            transparent ‘eyelid’ and      Their core body temperature can also range
                                                            big eyebrows to keep out      from 34 -41° C, a range that would kill most
                                                            sand and sun.                 other animals.


‘Kneepads’ for
kneeling on hot                                                                            G’day from Gr
sand.
                                                                                            Welcome to                     aham
                                                                                           Junior Rang the first edition of the
                                                                                                         e
                                                                                           year for everyr Review. I hope this is 2009
                                                                                           more about body and one where yoa great
                                                                                                         the Territory             u
                                                                                                                       environment discover
                                                                                          There has be                               .
                                                                                          Territory sin en lots of rain across t
                                                                                          Ranger Reviece the last edition of t he
                                                                                         can be affec w. Access to many of he Junior
   Big feet that don’t                                                                   over the ent ted by the rain. Some cour Parks
   sink in the sand.                    Tough mouth that can
                                                                                        be closed fo ire wet season, while ot lose
                                                                                        heading out r short periods of time. hers can
                                        even eat thorny food.

                                                                                       idea to chec to explore our Parks, it Before
            Did You Know?                                                                             k                        ’s
                                                                                       Parks” report the latest “Access to a good
                                                                                      parks. When       on our web s             our
                                                                                      open for all    you get out ite, www.nt.gov.au/
     Australia’s ca                                                                                 t              there, keep
     healthiest, momels are considered the                                           increase in inhe new plant growth an your eyes
                                                                                                     sect life as              d
     We also have st disease free in the worl                                                                     a result of t the
                  th                                                                 Finally to all                             he rains.
    world. Four Afr e most ‘wild’ camels in thd.                                    welcome to the Junior Rangers ou
    more camels ican countries actually ha e                                                      another yea               t
                                                                                                                r of the prog there,
    camel farms. than us; however, these are ve                                     See you out                               ram.
                                              on                                                  in the bush!
                                                                                   Graham
  2
                               Long-legged legacy
                               The first camel to arrive in Australia in 1840 was named Harry. Things got off to a shaky
                                 start for poor Harry. For starters, he attacked a goat and several people. On one trip, he
                                  wrecked a bag of food. Finally, he knocked his owner while he was loading a gun. The gun
                                                                went off and blew off two of the guys fingers, and several
                                                                of his teeth! The wounds became infected and he died a
                                                                month later. One of his dying wishes was that Harry be
                                                                shot!
                                                              Despite this, camels soon became vital to the early
                                                    exploration and growth of Central Australia. They basically carted
                                                   everything and everyone who went in or out of Central Australia. In
                                                    many ways, towns like Alice Springs where built on the ‘camels back’.
                                                             The men who led and cared for them where called ‘Afghans’.
                                                              They came from different countries throughout the Middle-
                                                             east, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. They have also made
                                                             an enormous contribution to Central Australia. The naming
                                                            of ‘The Ghan’ train from Adelaide to Darwin is just one way
                                                           that we remember them.


Too many camels                                                              to act
Parts of the NT are now getting over-crowded with camels. All
up, there are about 341000 of them. They eat and trample
                                                                        Time           st la
                                                                                                      gers agre
                                                                                            nd mana that camels
                                                                                                               e its
                                                                               s and mo        amage              ut of
plants, and their favourite ones cop a real hammering.              Scientist to control the d e fencing them o m for
Waterholes can be sucked dry and fouled.                            now time . Solutions includ em, catching the eat
                                                                             ing              th                  m
Camels are starting to invade remote communities. They            are caus t areas, shooting for products like y, as
                                                                            n                m
                                                                  importa ort or using the this may be tric and k
destroy bores, sprinklers, and even air conditioners looking
for water. They break down fences, and are a menace on the           live exp ther. But doing y remote areas
road. Males can also become quite aggressive during breeding            and lea them live in ver ven think they
                                                                          most of e people don’t e m.
season and may attack people.                                                  som                ble
                                                                                        are a pro



  Favoured camel food                                                                               Q
  Camels love to browse on this lovely little tree. The problem
                                                                         1 ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
  is, it is a threatened species in the NT, and camels are its
  biggest enemy. Complete this quiz and its common name
  will be revealed in the boxes. This article mentions all of the                      2 ____ ____ ____
  answers. Good luck!
                                                                               3 ____ ____ ____
      1. Camel pee comes out like a thick what?
      2. What do camels store in their hump?
                                                                         4 ____ ____ ____ ____
      3. Camels have big eyebrows to keep sand and what else out?
      4. Camels have big feet to help walk in _ _ _ _.                         5 ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
      5. Camels can _ _ _ _ _ their nostrils to keep sand out.
      6. Camels rarely need to _ _ _ _ _.                                6 ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
      7. Harry the camel
          reportedly attacked                                                                  7 ____ ____ ____ ____
          what type of
          animal?




                                                                                                                      3
                                                                             Santalum acuminatum is a
                                                                             threatened species that is
                                                                             heavily grazed by camels.
  On the Brink
      Missing NT Quoll
  The Western Quoll, Dasyurus geoffroii, was once one of
  Central Australia’s most aggressive, small mammals.
  It lived right through inland Australia but it hasn’t been collected in Central Australia for
  over 100 years. Scientists now believe they are extinct in the Northern Territory.


  Long sets of whiskers
                                                                                          Desert dwellers
                                                                           Sharp claws    Although Western Quolls were once common
Distinctive, white                                                         and teeth      across Australia they are now only found in a
spots over the body                                                                       few small spots in the south west of Western
                                                                                          Australia. In the NT they lived amongst spinifex
                                                                                          grasses on sand dunes and plains, as well as
                                                                                          rocky areas in desert regions. They usually
                                                                                          nested in hollow logs and tree hollows. They
                                                                                          also dug hollows into large termite mounds.
                                                                                          There are many reasons why these quolls are
                                                                   Fine white fur below
                                                                                          extinct. Large wildfires in Central Australia
                                                                                          have changed the habitat of the Western Quoll.
                                                                                          These fires have reduced the shelter available
                                                                                          to the quolls. They have also reduced the prey
                                                                                          of quolls. Less food means less quolls.




                                            Meat munching marsupials
                                            Western Quolls are carnivorous marsupials. This means that they eat meat and have
                                            pouches just like kangaroos and wallabies. Quolls eat a range of different animals. They
                                            like birds, small mammals, reptiles, frogs, and insects. Even yabbies and crabs are on
                                            the menu. They are nocturnal, so they usually hunt at night, but will sometimes come
                                            out in the day to hunt. Quolls are great climbers so they will climb trees in search of
                                            prey. Their strong claws allow them to easily move about in trees and shrubs.
                      Long,
                      spotted
                      tail
                                              On the Menu
                                      What’s on the men
                                      Quolls ate a vast u? Astonishingly, Western
                                      Central Australia range of different animals in
                                                                                                                  Did You
                                                       . Here are just a
                                                                         few...                                   Know?
                                                                                                               Western Quolls were
                                                                                                              last seen by scientists
                                                 Frogs                      Reptiles                          in Central Australia way
                                Beetles
                                                            Grasshoppers                                      back in the early 1900s.
                                                                           Smaller                           However, Aboriginal people
                                                                           mammals                           in the western deserts
                                    Birds                                                                    talk about hunting them
                                                                                                             as recently as the 1950s.
                                                                            Cockroaches


4
                                                  Spiders
                                                     Unfriendly ferals
                                                     Most of Central Australia’s ‘mid-sized’ mammals are either
                                                      extinct or on the brink of extinction. Foxes and feral cats eat
                                                       these mid-sized mammals. They also eat the same foods as
                                                        quolls. These unfriendly ferals arrived over a hundred years ago
                                                        in Central Australia. Many of our native animals have declined
                                                        dramatically since then. The control of feral cats and foxes is
                                                        not an easy task. Both animals are cunning hunters and will
                                                        usually not enter traps set by Rangers.

                                                       Not only do foxes and feral cats feed
                                                       on the same animals as the quoll, but
                                                       they also feed on young quolls as well.




Northern relative under threat!                                                                                The Northern Quoll,
                                                                                                               Dasyurus hallucatus.
The Northern Quoll, Dasyurus hallucatus, is a Top End relative
of the Western Quoll. They are about half the size of their
southern cousin. Their numbers are also decreasing and
scientists are very worried about their future. They too
have been affected by changes in fire patterns and
the introduction of the feral cat. This quoll is now
listed as ‘critically endangered’ in the Northern
Territory. The arrival of the poisonous
introduced Cane Toad, Chaunus marinus,
is a new worry.
                                                                                                   The Cane Toad,
                                                                                                   Chaunus marinus.


                You are a quoll. Start at the entrance
                and see if you can reach the Spinifex                     What are your
                Hopping Mouse for a quick feed.
                                                                          chances?
                                                                         So what are your chances of see
                                                                         Quoll in the wild in Central Austr ing a Western
                                                                         almost no chance at all! There isalia? Answer…
                                                                         tiny, tiny chance that a populatiostill just a
                                                                         somewhere out in remote areas n may exist
                                                                        people. This doesn’t mean that well away from
                                                                        see them at all. Western Quolls you’ll never
                                                                        the nocturnal house at the Alic can be seen in
                                                                                                         e
                                                                        Desert Park. Remember to be patSprings
                                                                        because they are not always        ient
                                                                        active. The Desert Park has a
                                                                       breeding program which
                                                                       has had some recent
                                                                       success when two
                                                                       male quolls were
                                                                       born in 2008.


                                                                                                                    Western
                                                                                                                Quolls have
                                                                                                                very unique
                                                                                                            tracks. The only
                                                                                                         other animal that



                                                                                                                               5
                                                                                                        looks similar is the
                                                                                                        Common Brushtail
                                                                                                    Possum - another rare
                                                                                                      animal of the desert
                                                                                                                   regions.
Urban Encounter
    Fantastic Fiddler Crabs
Most of us who have visited intertidal areas, like mangrove forests, creeks,
sandbars or mudflats, will have seen the colourful violin-like play of the fantastic
Fiddler Crab, Uca spp. Let’s look a little closer at the special lives of these
fascinating little crabs.


Fiddler facts & features
It is the males who have the one huge colourful claw. When they wave this claw
it looks a little bit like they are playing a fiddle (like a violin) giving them their
                                                                                                                               Did You
common name. They use this claw to attract females and to fight off intruders.
You will know where and when fiddlers have been eating as there are little balls of
mud lying around. Check out these other fiddler features:
                                                                                                                               Know?
                                                                                                                       There are about 100 species
                                                                                                                       of fiddler crabs worldwide,
Males have to spend twice as long as                                                                                   with Australia home to
females feeding because the big claw makes                  Depending upon the species fiddler                         around 20 of them. There are
it difficult to collect food from the soil.                 crabs can be very colourful. Some of the                   9 different kinds in Darwin.
                                                            local species are bright red and yellow.
                                                                                                                      One is called Uca flammula,
                                                                                                                      or Darwin Red Legs, as it ha
Males can be left or right                                                      Fiddler crabs are small, with         flame coloured legs.          s
handed it depends on the                                                        the bigger kinds being 5cm
species.                                                                        across. Most are smaller.




                    The impressive male’s claw is quite a
                    weapon. It can weigh half his weight
                    and be wider than his body.

 Loss of a claw, because of fighting, does not happen                                                      Female fiddlers have two smaller
 very often. When it does a new one may regrow.                                                            claws. They can look like other
                                                                                                           crabs. Look closely at their shell
                                                                                                           shape and colour to be sure!


Prime real
estate
Burrows are prime fiddler real
estate and worth fighting for.
There may be thousands of crabs
on a mudflat and each defends
                                             Fiddler crab burrows and those of other
an area around their burrow. Their           animals help the intertidal system.
territories are important as: places to
hide when the tide is out; escapes from predators; sources of water for
keeping their gills wet; and as feeding and mating areas.
Burrows also help the overall health of intertidal areas. They allow
water and oxygen to penetrate the soil and reach the roots of plants


6
    like mangroves and other soil life. The turning over of the soil also
      helps recycle nutrients, much like worms do in a garden.
                           Fold down, compound
                           eyes on stalks.
                                                                  Fiddler families
                                                     Although their courtship is a flashy affair, mating is usually a
                                                  secretive thing. In some species the female chooses a boyfriend.
                                                 She wanders around, checking out their claws, before choosing one and
                                                mating in his burrow. In other species, it is the male doing the wandering,
                                              waiting for some interest, before mating in her home.
                                             Either way, mum incubates her eggs belowground. She
                                             carries them in a mass of hundreds underneath her. When
A panoramic                                  the time and tide are right (high) she releases them. For a
                                             while they float around as plankton, growing, before being
view                                          washed back into intertidal areas and growing into tiny
                                              fiddlers. Like all crabs they must moult (shed) their hard
                                               shell and make a bigger one as they grow.
Fiddler crab eyes look pretty weird!
They sit high above on periscope-like                  A male fiddler
stalks which fold down into grooves                    waving his claw
on their head when they enter                          and tapping
their burrows. Their compound eyes                     the ground in
(like flies) are specially designed                    courtship display.
for the flat world they live in. They
give a clear panoramic view of
everything going on around them
all at once. They provide an early
warning system, enabling fiddlers to
judge distance and spot potential
mates, intruders or predators, even
from behind. It’s also like having
an in-built compass, helping them
to navigate back to their burrows.
Some scientific studies suggest
that these crabs can see others up
to 2m away; a bird flying over them              Bird snacks
at around 17m; and a person walking
near them from 100m away. Bet you                There are lots and lots of fiddler crabs, so they are a rich
can’t see them from that distance!               source of food for other animals, particularly birds. Use the
                                                 grid to decode the name of one such secretive bird pictured
                                                 (hint: it is a beach resident!).


                                                                                  1       2       3   4       5
                                                                                  A       B       C   D       E
Science                                                                           F       G       H
Snippet                                                                                               I       J
                                                                                  K       L       M   N       O
 Scientists have
 found that fiddler
 crabs have an
                                                                                  P       Q       R   S       T
 unusual behaviour...
  they operate their                                                              U       V       W   X       Y
  own Neighbourhood
  Watch programs.
  Even though they            2 5                  1          3         3     4       5       5 4             5
   are territorial, each
   fighting to protect
   their own turf,
   males will come to
    help their weaker                                     3         1       3 2       5       3
                                                                                                                        7
    neighbours fight off
    any wandering burrow
    snatchers.
   Plant Profile
       Sturt’s Desert Rose
    Sturt’s Desert Rose, Gossypium sturtianum, has one of Central
    Australia’s most beautiful and well known flowers. This interesting
    plant has some famous connections, and it has come to symbolise the
    Northern Territory in more ways than one!


    Famous family
    Despite its common name, Sturt’s Desert Rose is not in the rose family.
    It is a member of the Malvaceae family. This family includes the similar
    looking Hibiscuses, but its closest cousins are much more famous and
    important to humans.... they are the cotton plants. Four species of
    Gossypium have been used for thousands of years to produce cotton.
    Have a look at the clothes you are wearing; at least some of them would be
    made of cotton.
    White fluff covers the seedpods of all Gossypiums. They can look like cotton
    balls and basically they are! People harvest the fluff and spin it into cotton.
    However, our native Gossypiums do not have enough fluff to harvest.


    Desert Rose ID
          The flowers are mauve to lilac in
          colour with a dark red centre.
          They only last a couple of days.



The leaves are dark green.




                                                           Sturt’s Desert Rose grows to about 3 metres
                                                           tall in arid central Australia. It flowers all year
                                                           round, but produces more in winter. (Drawing
                                                           by Marion Westmacott, ANBG).                          Science
                                                                                                                 Snippet
                                          Famous name                                                            Oil glands cover most
                                                                                                                 parts of the Sturt’s
                                                                                                                 Desert Rose. They
                          Sturt’s Desert Rose is named                                                           contain a substance
                       after the famous Australian                                                               called ‘gossypol’. You
                     explorer, Captain Charles Sturt.                                                            can smell it if you
                   He first collected it in Central                                                               crush the leaves. It
                  Australia, in 1845, while looking for                                                           is poisonous to most
                 the legendary ‘inland sea’. He did not                                                           native animals, but
                find a sea, but he found Sturt’s Stony                                                             it does not affect
                                                                                                                   introduced hoofed

8
                Desert, Sturt’s Desert Pea, Cooper
                Creek, and the Simpson Desert!                                                                      animals, like sheep
                                                                                                                    and cattle.
 An NT icon
 Sturt’s Desert Rose is the Northern Territory’s official floral
 emblem. It appears on the Territory coat of arms. It is also
 on the NT flag, which was unveiled in 1978. The flag depicts a
 stylised Sturt’s Desert Rose flower insignia. The real flower only
 has five petals, but the insignia has seven. These seven petals
                                                                                    A stamp and the Northern
 represent the Northern Territory and Australia’s other six states.                 Territory flag, both featuring
 The Australian Capital Territory misses out!                                       Sturt’s Desert Rose.
 All Territorians would have seen the NTG logo. It consists of the flower insignia with the words
 ‘Northern Territory Government’ attached to it. Look around and you’ll see it everywhere.
 Checkout the front cover of this magazine for a start!




Gossypium
hirsutum, the
                                 The mystery of the fluffy feral
‘fluffiest’ of the                                       The most widely used commercial cotton, Upland Cotton, Gossypium
world’s cotton                                          hirsutum, came from the Americas. Now people grow it all over the
plants.
                                                      world. Its seedpods are especially fluffy and they make great cotton. You
                                                   are most likely wearing some of this fluff right now!
                                                These cotton bushes actually grow wild in many parts of the Top End of
                                                Australia. How they got here is a bit of a mystery. Keep an eye out for them in
                                                places like Casuarina Coastal Reserve in Darwin.
                                                A variety of G. hirsutum was trialled in the NT in 1882. The plan was to start a
                                                cotton growing industry, but insect pests soon ended it. Some people think our
                                                wild plants escaped from this old farm trial. However, these ‘ferals’ are slightly
                                                different to commercial cotton, and they also occur all the way out in remote
                                                   Arnhem Land. Maybe our wild plants are escapees that changed slightly, and
                                                     have been able to spread hundreds of kilometres. Some scientists, however,
                                                       believe that our wild cotton arrived here naturally on ocean currents some
                                                        time in the past. We may never know the truth.


                                                                                                                                                                        W               E           R
                                                                                                                                    F           L           O
                                                                                            I           N           T
                                                                      M         G                                                                                                           A           G
                                                                                                                                                    H       F           L

        Fluffy feral
                                                                                                        N           O               R
                                                                       S           U        O                                                                                                           M
                                                                                                                                                            A               I               E
                                                                                                                        S           T               U
                                                                                                N           S
        word find
                                                                       T            E                                                                                                       C               U
                                                                                                                                                    T           T           O
                                                                                                            A           S               I
                                                         n,                                     E
                                        mercial cotto                   R           M                                                                                                           A           T
                          ame for com                           s.                                                                                  G           O               S
          The species
                        n                       word, hirsutu                                               D               I           Y
                        mes fr  om the Latin               all of          E           B        S
                                                                                                                                                                                                V           U
          hirsutum, co                     , firstly find                                                                                               P       N               C
                         ha t this means           p left corner,                                               I           P               T
           To find out w          start in the to                          S            L       O
                                                                                                                                                                                    I           L               S
                           Then,                             ce the                                                                                                 I
           these words.                      own, and pla                                                                       Y           O           R
                          ya  cross then d                                  E           E           R           R
                                                                                                                                                                                                                R
            work your wa                  ces provided
                                                         .                                                                                                          U               U               A
                           rs in the spa                                                                                        O           L           D
            leftover lette                                                     D        M           O           G
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I
                                                   POISONOUS                                                                                                        G                   T           M
                                GOSSYPIUM                                                           P               Y           S               S       O
             COTTON                                 ROSE                       L            O                                                                                                       S               H
                   RT           GOSSYPOL                                                                                                        N           O           U               S
             DESE                                   SEEDPOD                                 O           I           S           O
                                HIRSUTUM                                        P
                                                                                                                                                                        L               U               F               F
              EMBLEM                                 STURT                                                          A               L           G           F
                                 INSIGNIA                                       S           D           N
              FLAG                                   STURTIANUM
                                  LOGO
               FLOWER

                                                                                                                                                                                                                9
                                  MALVACEAE
               FLUFF
                                   OIL
                GLANDS
Discovering Outdoors
   Taking Nature Photographs
Have you ever heard the saying ‘take only
photographs and leave only foot prints’? This refers
to minimising the impact we make when exploring
the natural environment. Taking nature or wildlife
photographs is a great way for us to enjoy being
outside and learning more about our environment
without causing any damage.

Since the development of digital cameras, more people
are enjoying photography. But how easy is it to take good
photographs of nature? The good news is that anyone
can take great wildlife photos right from the start. But
there are a few tricks that will help you to take better
photographs.
Want to get some great nature photos? Just grab a
camera and follow these easy tips!




Fit the shape
Think of your camera’s viewfinder as a picture
frame. Try to match the frame to the shape of
                                                                                  Get the
your subject. If it is up-and-down, turn your camera
side-ways to fit the shape. Don’t have it on an angle or
people might think they are looking at the side of a hill.
                                                                                light right
                                                                     If you shoot toward the sun, your picture may
                                                                    come out too dark. Stand with the sun behind you
                                                                   or to the side for a better result. If you shoot in
                                                                  bright sun, your photo may have lots of bright light
                                                                  (glare) and dark shadows.
                                                                   Wait for a cloud to come along to reduce the light
                                                                   a bit, or better still shoot early or late in the day
                                                                    when the sun is less bright.




                                                      Fill the frame
                                                      Having the item or scene you’re trying to
                                                      photograph almost fill the frame makes a much
                                                      better photo. This is because details are often more
                                                      interesting than an overall view. Small things can
                                                                      ‘disappear’ if you take the photo from too
                                                                      far away.
                                                                      Each time you spot a subject, snap a shot
                                                                      and then move in closer for a better shot. Keep

10
                                                                      getting closer, using your camera’s zoom or by
                                                                      moving in, until you are sure the photo will best
                                                                      show your subject.
Get to the point                                               Try a different
Check all parts of your frame before you take your
picture. Watch for stuff that doesn’t belong - and
                                                                    angle
takes attention away from the main subject of               When photographing animals and plants try using
your photo.                                                     some different views. Most animals are much
                                                                    shorter than we are, and so we need to
                                                                     get low onto their level to see the world
                                                                     as they see it. If we photograph from
                                                                      a standing position, we may get an
                                                                      accurate picture of the animal, but not
                                                                      the picture that represents it best.
                                                                      So for a more exciting and interesting
                                                                      photo get down on your belly or knees.




   Know your subject                                                       Hold your
  To photograph animals, whether it’s your pet at
                                                                      camera steady
  home or a ‘critter’ in the wild you will need patience,      A camera that jiggles while you’re taking a
  persistence and an understanding of the way                 photograph will result in a blurry picture. So be
  animals behave. Try to predict how they will act,          especially careful to hold the camera still when
   and wait for that special moment for the best            shooting. If you’re right-handed, use your left hand
    photograph.                                             to support the weight of the camera or vice versa.
                                                            Rest your camera on a stable surface before
       While it often helps to have good equipment,         taking the picture or if you have one, use a tripod.
         taking fantastic photographs needs nothing
            more than a bit of thought. So take some
                time before each shot to think about
                   ways to make the picture great!
                                                                              Quick Tips
                                                                            Photographin
                                                                                          g Animals
                     Follow the tangled lines                              •	 Make	sure	t
                                                                                           he	
            to find out what this Nature Photographer                         are in focus (if animals	eyes	
                        is trying to capture!                                 the whole pictu they’re not,
                                                                              out of focus). re appears
                                                                           •	 Take	the	ph
                                                                                           oto
                                                                              different angle 	on	a	
                                                                              normal every d than your
                                                                                               ay viewpoint.
                                                                         •	 Hold	your	ca
                                                                                           mer
                                                                             steady when yo a	very	
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                                                                        •	 Approach	a
                                                                                         nima
                                                                            and have patien ls	slowly	
                                                                            them first to ce. Watching
                                                                            their behaviouunderstand
                                                                                           r is a big help.
                                                                       •	 Cheat	a	litt
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                                                                           and adjust th 	you	can	crop	
                                                                          contrast and e brightness,
                                                                                          co
                                                                          final images to lour of your
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                                                                                          tial.

                                                                                                               11
                                                                     •	 Have	fun!
Discover a Territory Park
   Butterf ly Gorge Nature Park                                                                                          Butterfly Gorge
Butterfly Gorge is tucked away at the base of a low sandstone plateau. The         Nature Park
                                                                                                   Darwin
                                                                                                                                                                              Jabiru

sheer rock faces, edged by dense riverine plants and rocky spinifex country, offer                                                                                         Katherine

shaded walks and beautiful scenery. The Wagiman people speak for this place.             Kununurra




What to see and do




                                                                                                                                                                               Stu
                                                                                                                                                                                   art
                                                                                                                                                                         Tennant
                                                                                                                                                                         Creek
                                                                                                                                                                                               Camooweal




                                                                                                                                                                                     Hwy
                                                                                                                                           WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Follow the Creek Walk along the river to the entrance of the gorge. The path follows the creek for                                                               NORTHERN

about 600 metres, terminating at a rocky outcrop. Be adventurous; make like Indiana Jones




                                                                                                                                                                                               QUEENSLAND
                                                                                                                                                                 TERRITORY


and climb over or swim around the rocks to reach the main pool. You can also reach the gorge                                                                    Yulara
                                                                                                                                                                                     Alice
                                                                                                                                                                                     Springs
and main swimming area by following the longer Lookout Walk. This is a 30 minute walk through
open woodland offering great views of the gorge before descending                                                                                                    SOUTH AUSTRALIA

down to the main pool. However, you should not walk alone, follow                                                                                                          Past logging industries
the signs and beware of slippery rocks.                                                                                                                                      removed many of the
                                                                                                                                                                             huge Paperbarks. The
Quite often you may be the only visitors and will be able to                                                                                                                   timber was used to
experience the true tranquillity and isolation of this beautiful                                                                                                              build the Stokes Hill
spot. The Park protects a part of the Douglas River                                                                                                                                Wharf in Darwin.
which eventually flows into the Daly River about 50 km
downstream.
Why not make a day of it and have a picnic. It is a great
place to swim. Swimming across the main pool and
through the narrowest of gorges will get you to the upper
pools. A little further climbing and swimming leads to the
most beautiful and peaceful gorge.
There are lots of shady grassed areas with tables and
barbecues. Break out the cricket set or toss a frisbee. After
lunch why not go for a walk along the Monsoon Rainforest and
Woodlands Walk - a lovely loop walking track takes you through
two of the Top End’s habitats. It starts from the picnic area.
Take binoculars if you are keen on bird watching.


Getting there                                                                                                                                     Puzzle
The Park is approximately 130 km from
                                                                                                                                                  Answers
Katherine and 200 km from Darwin along                                                                                                                                         e:
                                                                                                                                                               Creature Featur
the old Stuart Highway scenic route. The
final 17 km into the Park is a four wheel drive                                                                                                                Quandong.
                                                                                                                                                                                r:
track. Caravans cannot be taken into this                                                                                                                      Urban Encounte
                                                                                                                                                                Beach- stone Curlew.
Park nor can you camp there. However, you may
camp nearby at Tjuwaliyn (Douglas) Hot Springs                                                                                                                  Plant Profile:
Park. You can also camp at the Douglas River Esplanade                                                                                                          Hairy.
                                                                                                             The Park’s name comes                                                doors:
Conservation Area, which is looked after by the Douglas Daly                                                 from the large number                               Discovering Out
Tourist Park. Visitors should first check in at the office where                                             of Common Crow                                      The Kangaroo.
you will be given a camp site. Camping fees apply.                                                           Butterflies, Euploea
                                                                                                             core corinna, which can
It is only possible to visit the Park during the dry season (May -September).                                be seen amongst the
Heavy rains close the Park each year during the wet season.                                                  plant foliage.


The Junior Ranger Review is published four times a year by the             Contributions & subscription   Please Note: You are welcome to photocopy the text
Parks and Wildlife Service of the NT. This edition was written by Dean     requests are welcome and       & illustrations in this book without prior permission for




12
McAdam, Emily Findlay, Michael Barritt & Dave Rochford. Editor Dean        should be sent to:             non-profit educational purposes only. If text is reproduced
McAdam. Design and layout by Graphics’ll Doo. The front cover by           The Editor                     separately it must not be altered and the Parks & Wildlife
Leonie Richards. Illustrations by K. Day, K. Kerr, L. Richards, N. Pike,   Junior Ranger Review           Service of the NT must be acknowledged as the source.
A. Taylor, R. Whitlow, M. Westmacott & B. Whiteford. Printed on            PO Box 496                     (If you wish to use the illustrations, permission must be
recycled paper.                                                            Palmerston NT 0831             sought). Please contact the editor if in doubt.

								
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