Where does the Dingo live?

Australian Dingo Facts

Where does the Dingo Live?

More details below in the Habitat section of this article. This map colour codes where the free-roaming Dingo lives.


 General Information:

The dingo (Canis lupus dingo) is a free-roaming dog found mainly in Australia. Its exact ancestry is debated, but dingoes are generally believed to be descended from semi-domesticated dogs of either East or South Asia, which returned to a wild lifestyle when introduced to Australia. As such, the Dingo is currently classified as a subspecies of the grey wolf, Canis lupus. The Australian name has therefore sometimes been applied to similar dogs in South-East Asia, believed to be close relations. As free ranging animals, they are not considered tame, although tame dingoes and dingo-dog hybrids have been bred in a domestic lifestyle. First Australians also “domesticated” the dingo within their communities for over 40,000 years.

The dingo is the largest terrestrial predator in Australia, and plays an important role as an apex predator. However, the dingo is seen as a pest by livestock farmers due to attacks on animals such as sheep. For many Australians, the dingo is a cultural icon. The dingo was seen by some as being responsible for thylacine extinction on the Australian mainland about two thousand years ago, although recent study challenges this view as does common sense because both land animals co-existed for many thousands of years before European settlement.

Dingoes have a prominent role in the culture of Aboriginal peoples and feature in many age old stories and ceremonies. Dingoes are depicted as human companions on rock carvings and cave paintings.

Despite being an efficient hunter, the dingo today is listed as vulnerable to extinction. It is proposed that this is due to susceptibility created by genetic pollution: a controversial concept according to which interbreeding with domestic dogs may dilute the dingo’s unique adaptations to the Australian environment.

 Physical description:

Domestic and pariah dogs in southern Asia share so many characteristics with Australian dingoes that they are now considered to be members of the same taxon Canis lupus dingo, a particular subspecies of Canis lupus. While the relationship with humans varies widely among these animals, they are all quite similar in terms of physical features. A dingo has a relatively broad head, a pointed muzzle and erect ears. Eye colour varies from yellow over orange to brown. Compared to other similarly sized familiaris dogs, dingoes have longer muzzles, larger carnassials (large teeth found in many carnivorous mammals), longer canine teeth, and flatter skulls with larger nuchal lines.


The average Australian dingo is 52 to 60 cm (20 to 24 in) tall at the shoulders and measures 117 to 154 cm (46 to 61 in) from nose to tail tip. The average weight is 13 to 20 kg (29 to 44 lb); however, there are a few records of outsized dingoes weighing up to 27 to 35 kg (60 to 77 lb). Males are typically larger and heavier than females of the same age. Dingoes from northern and northwestern Australia are larger than central and southern populations. Australian dingoes are invariably heavier than Asian ones. The legs are about half the length of the body and the head put together. The hind feet make up a third of the hind legs and have no dewclaws. Dingoes can have sabre-form tails (typically carried erect with a curve towards the back) or tails carried directly on the back.


Fur of an adult dingo is short and soft, bushy on the tail and tend to  vary in thickness and length depending on the climate. The fur colour is mostly sandy to reddish brown, but can include tan patterns and sometimes be black, light brown, or white. Completely black dingoes might have been more prevalent in Australia in the past, but have only been rarely sighted in recent times. They are now more common in Asia. Most dingoes are at least bi-coloured, with small, white markings on the chest, muzzle, tag, legs and paws being the most common feature. “Pure” dingoes are also found in white or cream (not albinism). They are also found in black and tan colourations. In the case of reddish individuals, there can be small, distinctive, dark stripes on the shoulders.

photo4 photo3Sitting Dingo


Like all domestic dogs, dingoes tend towards phonetic communication. However, in contrast to domestic dogs, dingoes howl and whimper more, and bark less. Eight sound classes with 19 sound types have been identified.

  1. Barking

Compared to most domestic dogs, the bark of a dingo is short and monosyllabic, and is rarely used. Barking was observed to make up only 5% of vocalisations. Australian dingoes bark mainly in swooshing noises or in a mixture of atonal and tonal sounds. In addition, barking is almost exclusively used for giving warnings. Warn-barking in a homotypical sequence and a kind of “warn-howling” in a heterotypical sequence have also been observed. The bark-howling starts with several barks and then fades into a rising and ebbing howl and is probably (similar to coughing) used to warn the puppies and members of the pack.

  1. Howling

Dingoes have three basic forms of howling (moans, bark-howls and snuffs) with at least 10 variations. Usually, three kinds of howls are distinguished: long and persistent, rising and ebbing, and short and abrupt. Observations have shown that each kind of howling has several variations, though their purpose is unknown. The frequency of howling varies with the season and time of day, and is also influenced by breeding, migration, lactation, social stability and dispersal behaviour. Howling can be more frequent in times of food shortage, because the dogs become more widely distributed within their home range.

  • Other forms of communication

Growling, making up approximately 65% of the vocalisations, is used in an agonistic context for dominance, and as a defensive sound. Similar to many domestic dogs, a reactive usage of defensive growling is only rarely observed. Growling very often occurs in combination with other sounds, and has been observed almost exclusively in swooshing noises (similar to barking). During observations in Germany, dingoes were heard to produce a sound that observers have called Schrappen. It was only observed in an agonistic context, mostly as a defence against obtrusive pups or for defending resources. It was described as a bite intention, during which the receiver is never touched or hurt. Only a clashing of the teeth could be heard.

Aside from vocal communication, dingoes communicate, like all domestic dogs, via scent marking specific objects (for example, Spinifex) or places (such as waters, trails and hunting grounds) using chemical signals from their urine, feces and scent glands. Males scent-mark more frequently than females, especially during the mating season. They also scent-rub, whereby a dog rolls its neck, shoulders, or back on something that is usually associated with food or the scent markings of other dogs. Unlike wolves, dingoes can react to social cues and gestures from humans.


Dingoes prey on a variety of animals. Most of its prey species are small or medium in size, including lizards and rodents. However, the dingo will also take larger prey, including sheep and kangaroos. The dingo is opportunistic, and in addition to hunting is also known to eat fruits and plants and scavenge from humans.


Modern day dingoes are distributed primarily in small pockets of forests in Southeast Asia and in many portions of Australia. In Australia, they live mostly in the north. The “Great Dingo Fence” was begun in the 1880s and was meant to keep dingoes out of the relatively fertile southeast of Australia and to protect the vast sheep populations. Although the fence has managed to stem the dingo from existing in larger numbers, some dingoes can still be found in the southern portions of the continent today.

The dingoes habitat ranges from deserts to grasslands and the edges of forests. Dingoes will normally make their dens in deserted rabbit holes and hollow logs close to an essential supply of water.

 Natural Behaviour:

Dingoes tend to be nocturnal in warmer regions, but less so in cooler areas. Their main period of activity is around dusk and dawn. These periods of activity are short (often less than one hour) with brief times of resting. Dingoes carry out two kinds of movement: a searching movement (thought to be associated with hunting) and an exploratory movement (probably for contact and communication with other dogs). In general, dingoes are shy towards humans and avoid them. However, from time to time there are reports of dingoes becoming agitated by the presence of humans, such as around camps in national parks and near outlying or semi-rural streets or suburbs.

Hunting Behaviour:

Dingoes often kill by biting the throat, and they adjust their hunting strategies to suit the specific circumstances. For larger prey they hunt together due to the strength needed and the potential risk to them of injury.  These group formations are unnecessary when hunting rabbits or other small prey.


Dingoes breed once per year, generally between March and June. Pups are born after about 63 days and their litter sizes range from 4 to 6 offspring. The young may be left on their own after only a few months or they may stay with their parents for up to a year before going out on their own and living independently. Males reach sexual maturity by the age of one and females become capable of breeding at about the same age as well.

 2 Dingos play

Mortality and Health:

The main cause of death for dingoes is being killed by humans, crocodiles and dogs, including other dingoes. Other causes of death include: starvation and dehydration during times of drought or after strong bush fires, infanticide, snake bites, killing of pups by wedge-tailed eagles and bad injuries caused by cattle and buffalo. Dingoes are susceptible to the same diseases as domestic dogs. At present, 38 species of parasites and pathogens have been detected in Australian dingoes. The bulk of these diseases have a minimal negative influence on their survival.

Where does the Dingo live?

Today, dingoes live free roaming across many diverse habitats; including the snow-covered mountain forests of eastern Australia, the deserts of Central Australia and Northern Australia’s tropical forest wetlands. The noticed absence of dingoes in many parts of the Australian grasslands is probably due to human persecution.

It is worth noting that based on skull characteristics, size, fur colour and breeding cycles, distinct regional populations are recorded to exist between Australia and Asia, but not within Australia alone. The wild dog population of Australia now includes dingoes and a wide range of feral domestic dogs (considered to be mostly mixed-breeds and dingo-hybrids). These wild or feral dogs have been described as having an extensive variety of colours.

Impact of free roaming dogs and dingos:

Reliable information about the exact ecological, cultural and economic impact of wild dogs does not yet exist. It has been described that the impact of wild dogs depends on several factors, and a distinction between dingoes and other domestic dogs is not often made. The appearance of a wild dog is sometimes very important when it comes to the cultural and economic impact of the dog in that environment. It is desirable that the wild dog’s appearance complies to what is described as a “pure” dingo or close to this. In the case of their economic impact, their appearance only seems to be important when “pure” dingoes are used as a tourist attraction or for manufacturing products. Where wild dogs are regarded as pests, their appearance can be ignored or considered of minor importance, which can impact Dingo populations in a negative way.

Dangerous attacks on Humans:

Although dingoes are large enough to be dangerous, they generally avoid conflict with humans. Most dingo attacks are minor in nature, but some can be major, and a few can be fatal. Many Australian national parks have signs advising visitors not to feed wildlife, partly because this practice is not healthy for the animals, and partly because it may encourage undesirable behaviour, such as snatching or biting by dingoes, kangaroos, goannas and some birds.

Special Attributes:

The Dingoes attributes include;

  • Dingoes cannot bark, but they can howl
  • Dingoes have unique wrists in the canine world, capable of rotation. This enables dingoes to use their paws like hands and turn door knobs. Their ability to go where other dogs can’t means dingoes can cause more problems for humans than other wild members of the dog family can
  • A dingo can turn its head through almost 180 degrees in each direction
  • Dingoes have permanently erect ears
  • Wild dingoes can live for up to ten years but usually live for more like five or six years
  • Dingoes cared for by people can live up to 15 years or more
  • Domestication of dingoes has been difficult, dingoes are intelligent animals, they are more independent and harder to train than other dogs
  • Dingoes have larger canine teeth than domestic dog breeds.

Dingo Watch


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Kookaburra Gum Tree

Kookaburra Gum Tree


I woke up early this morning!

And I am in such a good mood,

‘Cause of what I saw and heard,

From my daybreak buddy, a special bird,

Can you guess why I think he is so good?



I will give you some clues to his looks!

He has a stout and compact body,

Short neck, strong pointed bill and 43cms high,

A white neck band and dark strip running through his eye,

He has blue spotted wings and a white downy feather belly.



How about some of his daily habits,

In the wild he feeds on snakes, insects and lizards,

He will live in pairs or a small group in the gum tree,

He swoops with strong claws, the prey will not get free,

And they nest in hollow tree trunks or excavated termite nests.



This striking bird is truly amazing.

How special is the Kookaburras laughing call?

Heard as they roost in the gum tree tops,

kookaburra gum tree
Large Kingfisher

Throughout Australia they are known as the “bushmans clock”

With a song every day, dusk and dawn, enjoyed by one and all!


Kookaburra Gum Tree is a Poem written by Kerrie Thomsen

July 2015

Please leave me a comment in the comment box, I would really enjoy that!

Save Wild Brumbies

Organisations that Save the Wild Brumbies:



This group of dedicated people are in Bellingen, NSW. They are dedicated to protecting these wild horses into the future and saving individual brumby horses today through adoption programs, sponsorship and donations.



This Hunter Valley Association in NSW aims to provide refuge, rehabilitation to brumbies and education to all people. They are based on a sanctuary in the Hunter Valley but work tirelessly australia wide with the government for the protection of all wild Australian horses. They have an adoption program that they have been running for years.


People who love brumbies.




Murray Willaton as president of the Barmah Brumby Preservation Group aims to protect brumbies in the Barmah forest.

Government policy to “eradicate” barmah heritage brumbies is being fought in the Barmah Forest region along the Murray river of northern Victoria by this preservation group. They are a group worthy of support in my opinion. They work closely with the Bangerang Peoples – the traditional owners of this land.


This couple from the Ballarat area save brumbies from Kosciuszko National Park and train them. They also teach through classes and lessons how to look after, horsemanship skills and how to ride horses. They have a philosophy of horse training with conscience. A philosophy we admire very much!


All of these organisations and websites are helping our Australian Brumby Horses and our environment.

Please like us on Facebook and write a comment below in support!


Brumby Horse Facts

Brumby Horse Facts you should know!

General Description:

The Brumby is a free-roaming feral horse in Australia. Although found in many areas around the country, the best-known Brumbies are found in the Australian Alps region in south-eastern Australia. Today, most of them are found in the Northern Territory, with the second largest population in Queensland. A group of Brumbies is known as a “mob” or “band”. Brumbies are the descendants of escaped or lost horses and their history dates back to the early European settlers in the 1800’s. Breeds include the “Capers” from South Africa, Timor Ponies from Indonesia, British draught horse and pony as well as Thoroughbreds and Arabians.


The term Brumby refers to a feral horse in Australia. It can also  mean free-roaming horses. Australia’s first horses arrived in 1788, through importation from England to Australia. Very few horses actually survived the voyage by ship. The name Brumby for Australian feral horses is thought to have been derived from a Mr James Brumby who arrived in Australia in 1791. James Brumby, born in Scotton Lincolnshire, was a soldier with the New South Wales Corps, he was also a farrier and it is thought that he was responsible for some horses in the early Australian Colony.


Brumbies are rarely of consistent size, conformation or color. This is because they evolve and survive wild with the strongest traits showing over generations. Domestic mares may escape and mix with feral horse herds. Also, they were originally of mixed type, including draught and thoroughbred.

Outback Brumbies

Origin of feral herds:

Horses were likely confined primarily to the Sydney region until the early 19th century, when settlers first crossed the Blue Mountains and opened expansion inland. Horses were required for travel, and for cattle and sheep droving as the pastoral industry grew. The first report of an escaped horse is in 1804, and by the 1840s some horses had escaped from settled regions of Australia. It is likely that some escaped because fences were not properly installed, when fences existed at all, but it is believed that most Australian horses became feral because they were released into the wild and left to fend for themselves. This may have been the result of pastoralists abandoning their settlements, and thus their horses. Life was very hard and due to the arid conditions and unfamiliar land this combined to make farming in Australia especially difficult for new Australians.

After World War I, the demand for horses by defence forces declined.  Also the growth in mechanization, led to a growth in the number of unwanted animals and they were often simply set free.

Currently, Australia has at least 400,000 horses roaming the continent. It is also estimated that, during non-drought periods, the feral horse population increases at a rate of 20 percent per year. Drought conditions and brushfires are natural threats. Feral horses are considered to be a moderate pest by some sectors of the community and government. Where they are allowed to damage vegetation and cause erosion, the impact on the environment can be detrimental, and for that reason can be considered an environmental threat. However, this could be a view by pastoralists who believe the Brumby competes for grass of their domesticated cattle therefore reducing the readily available feed which then as a result has to be supplemented by the Cattle owner.

Many believe the Brumbies have a cultural and potential economic value therefore the management of Brumbies (as with any feral animal) presents a complex issue.

Pangaré Brumbies:

On the coast south of Geraldton, Western Australia the Brumbies there are known as ‘Pangare Ponies’, as they appear to carry the rare Pangaré gene. This colouring is commonly known as mealy and is seen mainly in a number of old breeds such as British Ponies, Timor Ponies, Haflingers and even Belgian Draught Horses. The gene causes lightening in parts of a horse’s coat, resulting in a mealy coloured muzzle, forearms, flanks, and the belly. It is sometimes seen in chestnut horses with flaxen coloured manes and tails. The Pangaré Brumbies appear to have adapted very well to their coastal environment, where they feed on saltbush and they do not appear to be damaging. The Department of Environment and Conservation and the Outback Heritage Horse Association of Western Australia (OHHAWA) are monitoring these particular Brumbies to ensure the careful management of these unusual feral horses.


Beautiful Brumby Horses
Brumby Horse

Brumby Horses in Australia




Brumbies have been captured, fitted with GPS tracking collars, and used in extensive comparative research into the effect of terrain on the morphology and health of different horses’ hooves. They have their paths of movement, diet, watering patterns, and mob structure tracked and recorded.

  • Captured Brumbies can be trained as stock horses and other saddle horses
  • Encouraging viewing of feral herds may also have potential as a tourist attraction
  • Brumbies are sometimes sold into the European horse meat market after their capture, and contribute millions of dollars to the Australian economy. Approximately 30% of horses for meat export originates from the feral population. The hides and hair of these horses are also used and sold
  • Wild Brumbies are great with people and have been successfully used in Brumby training camps by organisations that promote positive interaction between troubled, high-risk youths. These camps usually last several weeks, allowing youths to train a wild Brumby to become a quiet, willing saddle horse while improving the youths’ self-esteem
  • Wild Brumbies are also used in the Brumby catch and handle event in stockman’s challenge competitions, where riders are required to catch a free running Brumby from their horse within a time limit of a few minutes.


Environmental Impact:

Horses were first described as pests in Australia in the 1860s. Brumbies are viewed as a pest and a resource. They can cause damage to fences, overgraze cattle pastures, drink and foul water supplies, and make cattle mustering more difficult. They may also mate with domestic mares, and contradictory to most of the evidence some people believe they carry and pass on diseases. Their “usefulness” in Australia has been as meat, hair (for musical instruments, brushes, upholstery), and tourism/recreation. They can be captured and used as replacement stock horses, but demand is low. When the weather is dry, Brumbies may make water available by pawing at sandy creek beds, providing water for wildlife and cattle as well as themselves.

Their environmental impact may include soil loss, compaction, and erosion; trampling of vegetation; reduction in the vastness of plants; increased tree deaths by chewing on bark; damage to bog habitats and waterholes; spreading of invasive weeds; and various detrimental effects on population of native species. In some cases, when feral horses are startled, they may damage infrastructure, including troughs, pipes, and fences. However, Brumbies are also credited for help keeping tracks and trails clear for bush walkers and service vehicles in some areas.

In some habitats, hooves of free-roaming horses compact the soil, and when the soil is compacted, air spaces are minimized, leaving nowhere for water to collect. When this occurs, soil in areas where horses are prevalent has a water penetration resistance over 15 times higher than that in areas without horses. Trampling also causes soil erosion and damages vegetation, and because the soil cannot hold water, plant regrowth is hindered. Horse trampling also has the potential to damage waterways and bog habitats. Trampling near streams increases runoff, reducing the quality of the water and causing harm to the ecosystem of the waterway. Horse excrement tends to foul these waterways, as does the accumulation of carcasses that result when feral horses perish, adding to the negative environmental impact of this exotic species in Australia.

One could argue that domestic animals such as cattle and sheep have a very similar if not worse impact on the soil and land.

Because of the limited commercial need for these horses, regular culling is necessary, and studies have been carried out as to the most humane and efficient method. This culling is perceived as necessary not only to reduce the horses’ impact on cattle farming & industry, but for the protection of the horse herd. A large number of horses in drought conditions would suffer starvation, thirst and may consume toxic plants but this is not proven.


Interaction with other animal and plant species:Brumby5

The changes in vegetation that result when feral horses overpopulate a region affects bird species by removing plants upon which they feed, as well as altering the habitat of the birds and their prey. Feral horse grazing is also linked to a decline in reptiles and amphibians due to habitat loss. In addition, the grazing and trampling near waterways influences aquatic fauna. In areas frequented by horses, crab densities are higher, increasing the propensity for predation on fish. As a result, fish densities decline as the removal of vegetation renders them more susceptible to predation.

In areas where horses are abundant, macropod (e.g. kangaroos) populations are less prevalent. This is most likely due to the horses’ consumption of vegetation upon which the macropods normally feed. When horses are removed, signs of the presence of various macropods, specifically the black-footed rock wallaby, increase. Thus, competition with horses may be the reason for the decline in macropod populations in certain areas.

Brumby populations also may have the potential to pass exotic diseases, such as equine influenza and African horse sickness to domestic horses. They also may carry tick fever, which can be passed to both horses and cattle. This can lead to high fatalities among domestic populations, causing many farmers to call for the management of feral horses. Like all livestock, Brumbies can carry the parasite Cryptosporidium parvum, which can result in serious gastroenteritis in people drinking contaminated drinking water.

Why Brumbies are special?

  • The Australian Brumby is wild born for at least five generations or bred from wild parents
  • Brumbies are highly intelligent with heightened senses and generally are easily trained to all riding disciplines and contact with people
  • They are known for being incredibly faithful to their owners
  • Compared to commercially bred horses, Brumbies have very little or next to no inbreeding, as stallions in the wild choose their mares carefully to ensure the health of the herd and long-term survival. There DNA has been tested to bear out this fact
  • Brumbies can be used for a variety of purposes by people; Brumbies are highly regarded as tough, go-all-day horses.

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Emu Bird Facts

Emu Bird facts

australian emu


Emu is the common name for our large but flightless and tallest Australian native bird.

The scientific name is Dromaius novaehollandiae.

Emus reach between 1.6 m and 1.9 m when standing erect. Adult Emus are characterized by long legs with three-toed feet, stout body, small vestigial wings, brown to gray-brown shaggy plumage, and black-tipped feathers with black shafts, except for the neck and head, which are largely naked and bluish-black. The wings are greatly reduced, but the legs are long and powerful. Each foot has three forward-facing toes and no hind toe.

The Emu is the largest bird native to Australia and the second-largest bird in the world by height, after its ratite relative, the ostrich.

Opportunities to View:

Most people see Emus along roadsides, near fences or other barriers, giving the impression of close association. However, Emus are not really social, except for young birds, which stay with their father.

Similar species:

The Emu (30-45 kg) is lighter than its closest living relative, the Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) but is taller and less heavy set in appearance. It is also much more widely distributed throughout Australia.

ready to run


The Emu is found only in Australia. It lives throughout most of the continent, ranging from coastal regions to high in the Snowy Mountains. Emus were once found in Tasmania, but were exterminated soon after Europeans arrived. Two dwarf species of emus that lived on Kangaroo Island and King Island also became extinct.


The main habitats of the Emu are sclerophyll forest and savanna woodland. These birds are rarely found in rainforest or very arid areas.

Seasonal movements:

Emus move within their range according to climatic conditions. If sufficient food and water are present, these birds will reside in one area. Where these resources are more variable, Emus move as needed to find suitable conditions. They are known to move hundreds of kilometres, sometimes at rates of 15 km to 25 km per day.


Emus eat fruits, seeds, growing shoots of plants, insects, other small animals, and animal droppings.

Breeding Young:

Nesting takes place in winter. The male and female remain together for about five months, which includes courtship, nest building and egg-laying. The nest consists of a platform of grass on the ground, about 10 cm thick and 1 m – 2 m in diameter. The large eggs (130 mm x 90 mm) are laid at intervals of two to four days. These are dark bluish-green when fresh, becoming lighter with exposure to the sun. The shells are thick, with paler green and white layers under the dark outer layer. The female dominates the male during pair formation but once incubation begins, the male becomes aggressive to other Emus, including his mate. The female wanders away and leaves the male to perform all the incubation. Sometimes she will find another mate and breed again. The male incubates the eggs without drinking, feeding, defecating or leaving the nest. During this time, eggs often roll out of the nest and are pulled back in by the male.
Newly hatched chicks are cream-coloured with dark brown stripes. They leave the nest when they are able to feed themselves. Young birds stay close together and remain with the male for four months. They finally leave at about six months. During this period, the stripes fade and the downy plumage is replaced by dull brown feathers. Emus are nearly fully grown at one year, and may breed at 20 months. Sometimes eggs that have not hatched remain in the nest after the male and young have left and become sun-bleached. Bleaching takes about three months.

fast running bird


Other Facts

There are few natural predators of adult emus living in Australia. Predators are more likely to eat emu eggs or emu chicks. Wedgetail Eagles, Goannas, Dingoes and the Buzzard are the animals and birds that pose the greatest threat to survival for Emus.

Emus have a long history with the tradition, people and culture of First Australians. They are featured in numerous mythological stories by Aboriginal people. The “Dinewan” is the name for Emu by some clans in NSW. The Dinewan is in a story by Naiura from “Tales of my Grandmother’s Dreamtime” 2002.

Emus are inquisitive and curious creatures. In certain circumstances emus may approach people to investigate them. It is important to remember when traveling in Australia that as wild animals emus may be dangerous and should not be approached in the wild.

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Endangered Leadbeater’s Possum

The Endangered Leadbeaters Possum lives mostly in tall upland forests!

The Leadbeater’s possum was thought to be extinct for almost 50 years. It is at risk of extinction so its battle to survive is considerable. Logging and large bushfires across Victoria have destroyed habitat and is what wipes out large numbers of the species in very short periods of time. Breeding programs in captivity have been largely unsuccessful.

There are 23 known species of Possum in Australia and they are arboreal marsupials. They are hard to spot because they are all nocturnal.

The leadbeater does not have a gliding membrane but is incredibly agile and swift. It is also known as the fairy possum. Its inhabits tall trees living from 6 to 30 metres above the ground.

The leadbeater’s are grey or grey/brown in colour, paler underneath and have a dark midline marking or stripe on their backs. They are only about 33cm long including their tail. There tail is referred to as a club tail because the end of the tail or tip is wider.


The Leadbeater’s possum lives in family groups of about 12 possums inclusive of the one monogamous breeding pair. They will sleep together in large nests made of bark and situated in the hollow of trees.

One matriarch leads there small society and she will defend there area or space aggressively.

The vulnerable Leadbeater is Victoria’s Faunal Emblem.



leadbeaters at risk
fairy possums

Illustration by artist Rosie Marshall


In Animal Dreaming terms the Possum is “opportunity” i.e. the Possum inspires us to productively harness all opportunities to our best advantage. The Possum encourages us to seek out and experiment with new things. Ref: Scott Alexander King



Koala Marsupial

I have always thought the Koala marsupial was special and cute!

The Koala

(a poem for children)

Am I a Koala or a Bear?

Let me see….

I live in the tree tops to be safe

Munching on the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree

I watch the happenings below

A pretty good life I think you agree!

Sleeping and dozing

Most of the day…

Up in the trees that are my home

and rarely do I get restless or roam!

Do not forget two key facts

The wombat is my curious little cousin

And I am a pouched mammal!

So there it is, I am a Koala not a Bear.


(Poem by Kerrie Thomsen)

Please send a comment if you too enjoy art and poetry as a celebration of our amazing bird and animal life.