Monthly Archives: Jul 2013

Cairns Council vs Flying Foxes

During my three-week stay in Cairns last year, I was delighted to discover a populous colony of Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) roosting on the trees right in the middle of the city. These enormous fruit-eating bats, reportedly numbering between 10 and 20 thousand individuals, had made their homes on several large mango trees that grow between the city’s public library and the nearby Novotel resort. Although generally quiet during the day, they become very active at dusk, turning the Cairns central business district into an incredibly noisy area where thousands of crying animals would fly over the… Continue reading

Swinhoe’s Japalura

It is always a pleasure to learn that a species of animal frequenting your backyard is a unique one, not found anywhere else in the world. Swinhoe’s japalura (Japalura swinhonis) is a species of lizard endemic to the island of Taiwan. And what a stunning animal it is! It’s mane scales give an impression that it wouldn’t be out of place in a jurassic park and although it is certainly no dinosaur, this particular species is reportedly the largest of all japaluras, reaching up to 28 centimetres. It can also adapt to the environment by changing its body… Continue reading