|Wide Bay Boronia in bloom|
As the days start to lengthen and warm up, our native acid frog species will start to become more abundant and vocal in the wallum.
|The spotlight is on a Wallum Rocket Frog|
These 'acid frogs' are so named because they can tolerate the acidic waters of coastal wallum swamps and wet heathlands found on Fraser Island. Interestingly, the Cooloola Sedge Frog is a true native and is only found on the island and in the nearby Cooloola area south of us.
DID YOU KNOW: According to the Queensland Museum’s Frog Expert, Greg Czechura, there isn’t a species of frog in the world that makes a ribbit-ribbit sound? Ribbit-ribbit, Greg says, was simply made up by Hollywood.
|Loggerhead Sea Turtle (pic by richard-seaman.com)|
At this time of the year, the Great Sandy Biosphere as we were called – in particular the southern islands of the Great Barrier Reef including the far north west coast of Fraser; Bundaberg and the Cape York Peninsula (in the north of the state) – becomes the major breeding site for endangered marine turtles, which use a remarkable system of navigation to make their way to our shores (using the moon and the magnetic gravitational pull of the earth).
Like clockwork, various turtle species including Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas), Flatback Sea Turtle(Natator depressus), Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), the endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta - pictured above) and the less common Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) species return to the stretch of Queensland coastline where they were born and lay their clutches of eggs from November to January. From late January until the end of March, tiny hatchlings emerge and make the slow scramble across the sand – at the mercy of predators like dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) and raptors - to the relatively safety of the ocean.
|Hatchlings on Fraser (pic by Fraser Coast Chronicle)|
Closer to home, recent neap tides and northerly winds have made for some tough fishing in the past weeks, but Flathead (from the family Platycephalidae) and Whiting (Merlangius merlangus) are still being caught in the Great Sandy Strait and conditions are set to improve over the coming weeks. Well that’s all from the Kingfisher Bay Resort Ranger team until the festive season. So long Tree Huggers!