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Fauna of Central Australia

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Central Australia Fauna
Flora & Fauna
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Fauna of Central Australia
Despite the arid landscape, Central Australia is filled with life, from the largest of the marsupials, the Big Red, through to the huge array of birds, variety of snakes and reptiles, the smallest of frogs, desert fish and the huge array of insects.

This beautiful region has an array of habitats, from the sandy desert regions, salt pans, claypans, gorges, chasms and gaps, with dry riverbeds weaving through the landscape linking up permanent water holes, that are often the life blood for a number of wildlife.

Here you can see the big reds, euros, rock wallabies and dingos, a popular sight for many overseas visitors. The appearance of a large perentie or goanna can get the heart racing, being just some of the many reptiles species that also include the bearded dragon, central netted dragon, long-nosed dragon, blue tongue, the weird and wonderful looking thorny devil.
 

There are many snakes and nocturnal animals that are not so easily spotted, although you can see them at the local attractions such as the Alice Springs Reptile Centre and Alice Springs Desert Park or via nocturnal spot-lighting tours, such as those sometimes conducted during the year by the NT Parks and Wildlife.

For the avid bird watcher, Central Australia is a great place to see some of our feathered friends... from the larger birds of prey that can often be seen floating on the wind above you; the great array of parrots that include the galahs and black cockatoos; a variety of pigeons including the spinifex pigeon and the crested pigeon; the emerald green of the wild budgerigars; the luminousness colour of the Rainbow Bee-eater; the array of finches, wrens and tiny chats.

Central Australia is also home to a number of species of frogs such as the tiny Desert Tree Frog, Spencer’s Burrowing Frog and the larger Centralian Green Frog; the huge array of insects; desert fish and the variety of aquatic life.

As well as the native wildlife species, there are also the introduced species, some of which are labeled feral animals. Often there is an explosion in their numbers, creating widespread destruction of the environment and causing problems if not extinction of local indigenous plants and wildlife. Yet even these feral animals provide a sight to behold, with camels, brumbies and donkeys captured on camera by excited tourists, not use to seeing them in the wild.

Following are some images of the fauna found in Central Australia.

Fauna Images

Birds in Central Australia
Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata) © Colin Leel, September 2007
Western Bowerbird
Birds in Central Australia

For the avid bird watcher, Central Australia is a great place to see some of our feathered friends... from the larger birds of prey that can often be seen floating on the wind above you; the great array of parrots that include the galahs and black cockatoos; a variety of pigeons including the spinifex pigeon and the crested pigeon; the emerald green of the wild budgerigars; the luminousness colour of the Rainbow Bee-eater; the array of finches, wrens and tiny chats.

See more images of birds in Central Australia.

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Desert Fish and Other Aquatic Creatures in Central Australia
Spangled Grunters (Leiopotherapon unicolor)
Spangled Grunter
Shield Shrimp (Triops australiensis)
Shield Shrimp
Desert Fish & Other Aquatic Creatures in Central Australia

 

Water Scorpion - Laccotrephes tristis
Water Scorpion
 
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Frogs in Central Australia
Centralian Tree Frog in a small pond at Simpsons Gap.
Centralian Green
Frogs in Central Australia

Despite the arid conditions, there are a number of frog species that are found throughout the arid region of Central Australia.

Often the best time to see them is after any significant rain, when they emerge from their hideaway to spawn.

From the tiny Desert Tree Frog, that gets their name from being found at the base of some of the trees along the river edge, such as the River Red Gum; the Spencer’s Burrowing Frog that spend their lives burrowed in the ground, waiting for the next rains; Main’s Frog, known as the Sheep Frog because the call of the breeding male frogs sound like the bleating of sheep; Desert Trilling Frog, another species of Australian burrowing frogs; Centralian Green Frog, sometimes known as the Green Tree Frog is the largest of the Central Australian frogs, found living in the cracks of the rocky crevasses usually around water. These frogs are mainly nocturnal, emerging out of the tightest of rock cracks.

See more images of frogs in Central Australia.

The Spencer’s Burrowing Frog emerging from below the sand...
Spencer’s Burrowing Frog
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Insects in Central Australia

Grasshoppers
Cicada - Orange Drummer (Thopha colorata) © AusEmade PL, Nov 2007
Orange Drummer
Insects in Central Australia

See more images of insects in Central Australia.

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Marsupials in Central Australia
Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) - Alice Springs Desert Park
Red Kangaroo
 
Black-footed Rock Wallabies at Simpsons Gap, West MacDonnell National Park
Black-footed Rock Wallaby
Marsupials in Central Australia
Common Wallaroo / Euro © Dorothy Latimer, August 2007
Common Wallaroo
 
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Reptiles in Central Australia
Ring-tailed Dragon (Ctenophorus caudicinctus slateri) - Kings Canyon / Watarrka National Park
Ring-tailed Dragon
Perentie (Varanus giganteus)
Perentie
Reptiles in Central Australia

Long-nosed Dragon
Young Blue Tongue Lizard
Centralian Blue Tongue
Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus)
Thorny Devil
 
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