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Wildlife in Australia » Blogs » 3 Australian Animals for Easter

  • 3 Australian Animals for Easter

    Posted by EDrury46 March 29, 2013 - 487 views - 1 comment - 0 likes - #australia  #victoria  #queensland  #new south wales  #Wildlife  #Kangaroo  #Platypus  #Koala  #east coast 

    So Easter has come around again. In many places around the world, the Easter Rabbit and Chick are the stereotyped image plastered on billboards and wrappers all around the place, so I thought I'd have a look at six different animals, native to Australia, that would make fun alternatives to these stereotypes.

     

    Platypus: This is my alternative to the Easter Chick, being an egg layer, but the Platypus is also an incredibly interesting animal. In one sense this comes from its uniqueness in being the only mammal to lay eggs instead of live birth. They are semi-aquatic mammals - meaning they spend some time in water as part of their way of life; water is very important to their habitat. It is found in Eastern Australia and Tanzania and for those unlucky to see it in the wild, they can be found in special aquariums in sanctuaries in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and along the Gold Coast - to name a few. Another interesting fact, one I certainly didn't know before, is that the male Platypus has a venomous sting on its hind foot for defence if it feels threatened - thankfully this is only quite painful to humans, and not life-threatening. Platypus are not too threatened by disease in the wild, apart from in Tasmania, and part of this 'unthreatened' status is due to conservation measures already in place to ensure their habitats are protected. The Platypus also plays a role in Aboriginal Dreamtime stories and is often used as a mascot in national events, possibly most famous in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

     

     

    Kangaroo: Having found an alternative Easter Chick, I think it's only fair to make the Kangaroo my Easter Rabbit. They are one of the most loved and best recognised animals of Australia. Another subject of Dreamtime stories, a mascot for the Olympics and found on numerous items, including coins, as well as being the symbol for Quantas Airlines and the Royal Australian Air Force, its place in society is well publicised. It is a marsupial, with a pouch for its young. There are four main species of kangaroo in Australia: the red, the eastern grey, the western grey and the antilopine. Kangaroo meat is also a delicacy in Australia, though of course, as with all animals there, their numbers are monitored to ensure their number remains stable since they are also important to the ecosystem and sustainability of the land.

     

     

    Koala: Again, another animal that Australia is famous for, but when they are as important and iconic to the country as they are, it's only fair to mention them at Easter! Like the Kangaroo, they are marsupials, carrying their joeys in their pouch. They are herbivores, and are also, like the Platypus found along the East Coast of Australia. There are three different species, differentiated only by colour, size and skull shape; these are: the Queensland, the Victorian and the New South Wales. They have been listed for several years as of 'Least Concern' on the list of endangered species, yet they do face difficulties with habitat destruction, with trees being cut down due to urban expansion and agriculture. Last year, populations in Queensland and New South Wales were relabelled as 'Vulnerable' due to a sudden decrease over 30%. Conservation measures however, are in place to ensure this doesn't develop further. Nonetheless, don't be fooled by their cute, cuddly image - male koalas have a scent gland on their chests to mark their territory with, and it's certainly not a smell you would choose for a car-air freshener!

     

    These three animals are often seen as the face of Australia, and have far more interesting facts about them to be discovered. Conservation sanctuaries around Australia, particularly along the East Coast, provides opportunities to get up close to these remarkable creatures and to better understand how they are adapted to survive in the habitats they live in.

     

    Aside from the fun facts I've listed above, and my relabeling them as my Easter icons, why don't you consider paying a visit to a sanctuary in your travels around Australia to get a better understanding of them yourself?! It would certainly make a lovely day trip this weekend.

     

    P.S - Did you spot the joey in this pic!?

     

  • 1 comment
    • TripTide HQ
      TripTide HQ All adored animals :) Don't forget the Easter Bilby!
      April 3, 2013