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Wildlife in Central Australia

Travel Central Australia / Alice Springs in the Northern Territory

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Wildlife in Central Australia
The 'heart of Australia' encompasses a breadth of lands that is immense in size and ancient in origins. Occupying about one sixth of Australia's total land mass, it's boundaries hold some of Australia's most unique and significant icons, being home to a variety of contrasting landscapes of deserts, saltpans, ephemeral rivers, permanent waterholes, grasslands, shrublands and forests, sand dunes and mountain ranges, that offer a unique experiences for visitors to the region.

Such a vast and varied landscape means it is also home to a great range of flora and fauna, much of which is unique to the area. There are of course many non-indigenous wildlife and plants that have established themselves in the region, some which are considered vermin and noxious weeds, but have permanently established themselves.

When travelling through Central Australia, you pass through land that is traditionally associated with different Aboriginal language groups. As the original custodians of Central Australia, they have a unique relationship with the land, that is communicated through their art and Dreamtime stories, weaving a connection between spirit and country. Their close relationship extends in to their intimate knowledge of the flora and fauna, providing food, medicine and the essentials.

Centred on the Alice Springs and MacDonnell tourism regions, the vast Central Australia region describes an area that stretches north to encompass both the Barkly region, across the border into Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. Sometimes referred to as the 'red centre', this immense semi-arid region is full of life and has many attractions. With it's rich Aboriginal culture and the more modern European history, the region encapsulates the true Australian outback spirit.

Wildlife in Central Australia - Snapshots from Australia

This spectacular brilliant blue fairy-wren, is the colourful male of the species of Splendid Fairy-wren (Malurus splendens). The brilliant blue colouration of this small bird is the breeding plumage of the male of the species. The non-breeding males, juveniles and females of the species are predominantly grey, brown upper and buff to white underneath. The birds forages mainly on the ground and in shrubs, usually foraging in groups. They eat mainly insects. Found mainly in semi-arid and arid regions of Australia, the Splendid Fairy-wren are also referred to as fairywrens.
Splendid Fairy-wren (Malurus splendens) © Ausemade Pty Ltd
The Long-nosed Dragon (Amphibolurus longirostris) has a number of common names including Long-nosed Water Dragon and Australian Water Dragon. A slender long-limbed reptile with a long snout, its most impressive feature is the long tail, sometimes up to 3 times the body length. They vary in colour from grey to reddish brown and have a prominent pale dorsolateral stripe, with pale strip along the lower jaw. The Long-nosed Dragon is often seen on trunks, branches, rocks, along gorges and eucalypt-lined watercourses. Distribution in a broad sweep through Western Australia into Central Australia region. A comical sight is when the reptile gets up on their hind legs and sprints.
Long-nosed Dragon © Ausemade Pty Ltd
Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon) is a large bird of prey (slightly smaller than the Wedge-tail Eagle) found mainly in the semi-arid and arid regions of Australia. As well as searching for live prey, they also feed on carrion. They have also been known to eat emu eggs by breaking the shell with a small rock. If you are lucky, it is one of the birds in the Alice Spring Desert Park Birds of Prey Show.
Black-breasted Buzzard © Ausemade Pty Ltd
Canis lupus dingo belong to a group of primitive dogs characterised by short coats, erect ears, characteristic skull shape and teeth. They breed once a year, unlike domestic dogs that breed twice a year. The dingo probably descended from the Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes), and is commonly thought of as an Australian wild dog, although it is also found throughout Southeast Asia. The dingo has a ginger colouration, with a whitish chest and paws. They have a bush looking tail. In Central Australia most pure-breed dingoes are of the yellow form, with about one in twenty being coloured black and tan.

The dingo differ from domestic dog in that they howl rather than bark, although the dingo and domestic dog can successfully interbreed. Dingoes whose colouration include streaks of grey, brown or patchy colouration indicate cross breeding.

The dingo is found throughout most of mainland Australia, preferring habitats that include forest or woodlands merging with grassland. They are also found in the arid habitats of Central Australia, although this is only where there is fresh water available.
Dingo © Ausemade Pty Ltd
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