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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Koalas doing it tough in the drought

So you think your life is hard??  Try being a Koala trying to survive in the drought in the Darling Downs!! The extreme drought and heat wave has dried what suitable gum leaves there are for Koalas to eat and the continued land clearing and road-verge clearing has forced Koalas to have to travel on foot for long distances to reach the next food source or a rest tree, putting them at high risk of predators like wild dogs, domestic dogs, being kicked and tossed by inquisitive cattle, being caught on barbed wire fences and mostly hit by cars when crossing the roads.  If you think that this doesn't happen, sadly you are mistaken. In the Geham area where this koala was spotted it is common for Koalas to be hit on the highway on a regular basis, despite installed koala crossing signage, they are often left for dead.

The plight of the Koala in the Darling Downs is an ongoing challenge for those doing their best to ensure these animals survival.  This Koala was spotted in a very dry gum-tree at Geham on the 19th of November in a paddock.  As you can see from the photo showing the full size of the tree with the Koala in it, it offers little shade and very little food due to its wilted leaves.  Fingers crossed this one can make it.

J & B.

Koala high in the tree tops of a brown gum tree at Geham, 19/11/14 in the drought.

Can you see me?  Koala high in this dried out gum tree at Geham, Qld.  Note the terrible conditions.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Looping Bandy Bandy Snake

Last Night, while driving home, we came across this large healthy looking Bandy Bandy Snake, on the road at Kleinton. Brendon proceeded to move it off the road so it wouldn't get run over -  it wasn't happy with this and went into it's defensive looping mode- in which it holds it's body in braced loops off the ground. This particular snake was the biggest one we have ever seen in the wild.  (I also saw another one at Murphys Creek on Saturday Night, also crossing the road). (These photos taken on my iphone).

The Bandy Bandy (Vermicella annulata) is a nocturnal hunter, feeding solely on Blind Snakes and small lizards. During the day, the Bandy Bandy can be found under logs, or burrowed deep into the earth.
The Bandy Band is found throughout Eastern Australia, and apparently is numbers are secure. The Bandy Bandy is an egg laying species with females laying between 2 - 15 eggs with young being seen in early Autumn. Newly hatched snakes measure abut 175mm in length. The Bandy Bandy's it is not believed to be dangerous to humans and is only rated 1Flag for Dangerous in the Wildlife of Greater Brisbane Book. They grow to a total length of just one meter, making them one of our smaller snake species.

Bandy Bandy Snake at Kleinton, -05/11/14

Bandy Bandy Snake.