South Australia - Wildlife
 

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Wildlife
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Baird BayAustralia separated from Gondwanaland 160 million years ago. This long period of isolation has created a rich, unique and diverse wildlife. Australia is identified by its Kangaroos, Koalas and Wombats to name a few and South Australia arguably has the most accessible wildlife in Australia. You can swim with wild sea lions and dolphins, walk down Eucalyptus lined lanes and spot Koalas in almost every second tree, and view groups of kangaroos grazing in paddocks. Much of the wildlife is found in its natural habitat, devoid of fences and cages.

Although every region of South Australia has an abundance of native wildlife, there are specific areas, which are noted for their ease of accessibility. These areas remain highly protected to sustain the environment, the wildlife and the tourism industry. Below you will find a list of various wildlife species and where to find them. This is only a brief list of what can be found. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you are looking for another species.

Mammals

Echidna
Kangaroo
Koala
Platypus
Southern Hairy-
     Nosed Wombat
Wallaby
Birds

Crimson Rosella
Emu
Galah
Glossy Black
     Cockatoo
Kookaburra
Reptiles

Blue Tongue Lizard
Frill Neck Lizard
Goanna

Mammals

EchidnaEchidna
This is one of only 3 monotremes in the world and 2 are endemic to Australia. This egg-laying mammal is often likened to a porcupine and referred to as an anteater. The solitary animal is most active at dusk and dawn and hides under thick bushes and fallen logs. You are most likely to see one on Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills.

Wallaby
There are many different species of this marsupial. The Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby is on the verge of extinction, however can be spotted in the Flinders Ranges. The Tammar wallaby, which is considered extinct on the mainland, can be spotted on Kangaroo Island.

Kangaroo
There are many different species of kangaroos. The most common types in South Australia include the Western Grey kangaroos, which are more brown in color and Red kangaroos, of which only the male is red and can grow up to 8 feet. You are most likely to see the Western Grey Kangaroo on Kangaroo Island, Fleurieu Peninsula and Eyre Peninsula. The Red Kangaroo is most likely spotted in the Flinders Ranges & Outback.

KoalasKoala
This species is often wrongly referred to as a bear, however it is a marsupial. It breeds between September and March, and the joey is weaned from its mother after one year. The best places to find a Koala are on Kangaroo Island and the Adelaide Hills.

Platypus
This monotreme is extinct in most parts of Australia, however captive breeding and releasing the mammals into the wild has seen the platypus population grow in South Australia. This primitive aquatic burrowing animal has webbed feet, a duck like bill and brown fur.
PlatypusIt is found in freshwater lakes, steams and billabongs. You are most likely to see a platypus on Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills.

Southern Hairy Nose Wombat
This solitary marsupial is closely related to the Koala. They are predominantly nocturnal, and inhabit burrows during the day with 5-10 other wombats. They differ from the common wombats as they have softer, silkier fur and white hair on the nose. They are found in semi-arid areas of South Australia, and are most likely seen on Eyre Peninsula and River Murray.


Birds

Crimson Rosella
This bright red and blue bird is found predominantly in coastal forests. It is usually seen in a flock of 4 or 5. You are most likely to see a Rosella in the South East, Kangaroo Island, and Fleurieu Peninsula.

Emu
This curious bird is the second largest member of the ratite group of flightless birds. Other ratites include ostrich, cassowary and kiwi. Emu wings are only 6 inches long and therefore they cannot fly, however they grow to 5 to 6 feet tall and normally weigh 90 to 140 pounds. They are most likely found in the Flinders Ranges and Eyre Peninsula.

Galah
This bright pink and grey bird is found throughout the state. It is often seen in flocks of up to 1,000 birds either flying, perched in trees, or grazing in fields. You are most likely to see a Galah in the South East, River Murray, Flinders Ranges and Eyre Peninsula.

Glossy Black Cockatoo
This black bird has a distinctive red tail. Due to their limited food source, the seeds of the she-aok tree, they are a rare and endangered species. Found predominantly in South Eastern Australia, Kangaroo Island boasts a population of approximately 250. However the numbers are increasing.

KookaburraKookaburra
This distinctive native Australian bird is recognized by its loud territorial calls, often described as laughter. They are seen singly, in a pair or even in family parties on branches or posts overlooking wooded areas and clearings. You are most likely to see a Kookaburra on Kangaroo Island, the Adelaide Hills and the South East.


Reptiles


Blue Tongue Lizard
This timid reptile is often found in leaf litter, in wooded areas. If disturbed it will hiss and protrude its bright blue tongue to frighten the intruder. However like all Australian lizards, it is non-venomous. These lizards bear approximately 10 young each spring. You are most likely to see a Blue Tongue Lizard is in the South East, River Murray, Adelaide Hills and Flinders Ranges.

Frill Necked LizardFrill Neck Lizard
It is world famous for its spectacular orange neck frill, which is displayed when it is disturbed or alarmed. When calm the frill acts as a camouflage, allowing the lizard to resemble a branch or bark. They are most likely found in the Flinders Ranges.

Goanna
This reptile is from the same family as a Komodo Dragon. It grows up to three feet long and hibernates through the winter. They are most likely found on Kangaroo Island and in the Flinders Ranges.

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