Frog herping

Some nights there unfortunately isn’t much in the way of herps to find, but we did stumble upon a couple of frog populations along Brookton Highway the other night. Mostly motorbike frogs and slender tree frogs, but all with pretty beautiful colourations.

slendertreefrog

Slender tree frog (Litoria adelaidensis)

motorbikefrog

motorbike frog (Litoria moorei)

Common Death Adder

DeathAdderResize.jpgAcanthophis antarcticus. Brookton Highway, WA. 

One of the more interesting finds from herping outings. Death adders are easily distinguished by their triangular heads, and short, thick bodies, which taper into a thin tail. Death adders are the 4th most venomous snake in Australia, and hunt by an ambush technique. Using their thin tail as a lure (wiggling it, giving the impression of an insect), death adders wait for prey to pass, attacking when in close proximity. While creating a safety risk for bush-walkers, like many snakes, the death adder is not actively aggressive.

The death adder pictured was located around 10pm, next to a concrete underpass along Brookton Highway.

Feral Goat

goatresize

Capra hircus. Nature’s Window, Kalbarri.

Although looking pretty majestic, feral goats are a pretty big problem within Australia. They create all manner of issues for native fauna and natural (and agricultural) landscapes, competing for resources, and damaging vegetation/soil structure (increased erosion through overgrazing and trampling). They are also pretty terrifying when they suddenly appear and stare you down (especially when you look away for a second to grab a camera, and two more have appeared out of nowhere).

Freshwater crocodile

resizedcrocjump.jpgCrocodylus johnstoni. Annual freshwater crocodile survey. Windjana Gorge, The Kimberley.

This was one of the most fantastic experiences I’ve had; trapping and processing freshwater crocodiles in a truly stunning and beautiful environment.

resizedsunset.jpg       Sunset at Windjana Gorge

All trapped crocs were processed (measured for head width, snout-vent length etc., weighed, and sexed), and released.

resizedcrocprocess.jpg
Crocodiles waiting to be processed
resizedcrocrelease.jpgPreparing for release