The island of Tasmania happens to be the smallest among six states in Australia. Separated from the mainland by Bass Straits it is truly a unique haven for flora and fauna known only to Tasmania and other parts of Australia.
What’s Special In Tasmania? The Animals of Tasmania.
THE ISLAND OF TASMANIA happens to be the smallest among six states in Australia, separated from the mainland by Bass Straits it is truly a unique haven for flora and fauna known only to Tasmania. Many of these animals can only be found in Tasmania today as they are extinct in other parts of Australia. What makes Tasmania so special in terms of being able to conserve these animals? Perhaps due to its small size of population estimated at approximately 500,000 and a wide open space of unspoiled nature coupled with strict immigration procedure when allowing visitors coming onto the island be it by air or by sea.
On Dry Land
First lets meet with the devil! Better known as Tasmanian devil or Tassie by the locals, they are as big as a small dog and is a meat eating marsupial. Having been named as the Tasmanian animal emblem in 2008. Early European has called it a devil perhaps due to its two front teeth like fangs and the screeching and grunting emitting from a fight during a meal. They really are actually not ferocious and will not attack unless provoked. Who would have thought the devil can come in such a cute little package!
The wombat are herbivores and are rather large burrow diggers. The largest can grow up to three meters and weigh as heavy as 30-40 kg. To me it looks like an adorable little bear with small tuft ears and a koala like snout. What set it apart from other marsupials is that the carrying pouch is located at the back. How special is that! Due to the digging it does with its front paws it will not hurt the baby its carrying. Yes, you may find wombats in other parts of Australia as well.
Pademelon sounds like a cousin to Padme, Queen Amidala? No, it is most certainly not a character out of Star Wars. But a unique resident found abundant in Tasmania. Derived from the aboriginals of the land it is a shorter, stocky animal with sparsely haired tails and also hops. Do not mistaken them for wallabies which are much larger.
Many other marsupials roam the Tasmania lands such as Tiger and Eastern Quoll, they are carnivorous. They feast on smaller rodents. Coming across an Eastern barred bandicoot, Tasmanian bettong and the ever clever brushtail possum. Campers around will regale you with stories of these clever possum ransacking their tents for food. Encountering a “joey” or kangaroo, sugar gliders and emu would be in abundance. Either in wildlife sanctuary around Tasmania or out in the wild.
In and by the Sea ……
How not to fall in love with the fairy penguins or little penguins as they are called. The smallest amongst the penguin family. Catch them marching on the shores, in miniature size with their little adorable tails wagging back and forth. The place to spot them best are in Bicheno, Bruny Island, Low Head, Lillico Beach in Devonport, Bonnet Island and in parts of Burnie and Stanley.
Since the end of commercial whaling, there have been an increase of whales. Catch the southern right whales and humpback whales migrating through the Tasman waters. As well as school of dolphins. Sometimes you can watch them by the shore, but for the best views is to take a boat out and if you are up for it by a kayak!
For divers there is a rich diverse marine life. Diving the Giant kelp forest you will come across the colourful Leafy sea dragon and pot-bellied sea horses. Sadly only 5% of the kelp forests remains and have been protected now. With more than 5,000 kilometres of coastline and more than 45,000 ha of marine reserves.
In the nooks and crannies of rivers, through streams and lakes ……
Spot a warm blooded duck bill and webbed feet animal? You have an encountered the weird platypus. They do lay eggs and are warm blooded. There is also another animal in the same group, which is the short-beaked echidna. Its a cross between an ant eater snout and porcupine. Both the platypus and short-beaked echidna are found through out Australia and also in Tasmania.
Tasmania is serious in protecting the environment for its fauna as well as flora. As it does not wish the rest of its species to be extinct like the Tasmanian Tiger. Last Tasmanian Tiger in captive on Tasmania was in 7th September 1936.
The good people of Tasmania and its government their best in preserving the environment for the future. After all it is said there is none other ecosystem as pure as Tasmania’s comparatively to the other parts of Australia ……..
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