Mount Augustus Wildlife
Mount Augustus is a national Park managed by the department of Environment and Conservation.Kangaroos and emus are plentiful and are often seen on roads, and caution must be taken when driving, especially at night.
There are 2 main species of kangaroo common in the area, the Macropus Rufus or Red Kangaroo and the Macropus Robustus or Biggeda or Euro.
The red Kangaroo is larger than the Biggeda and the males, called bucks or boomers, are a distinctive red colour especially in winter. The females or does have a steel grey to blue winter coat and are sometimes called Blue Flyers or Marloos. Their summer coat is usually a dull red brown. The Biggeda is a deep brick red colour with a stripe running down their back. They have very muscular forearms and a rounded shape. They are often found near rocky outcrops.
Emus roam about in ones or twos except during occasional migrations that can occur during droughts. Chicks hatch mainly in winter and spring in clutches of 3 to 12. They have distinctive grey and white stripes and are looked after by the male parent.
Wedgetail Eagles can be seen at fairly close range when they are eating a road-killed animal or sitting on a dead branch nearby. They can be slow to take off from the ground if they have had a big feed so be careful to slow down when you spot them on the road. Their wingspans can be up to 2.3metres and have beautifully coloured glossy brown and black feathers. Wedgetail are known to hunt and kill in pairs and will take small kangaroos, lambs, kids, bungarras or perenties and your favourite puppy dog.
Reptiles abound in the form of lizards and snakes. The largest lizards are the yellow/brown perenties, often called bungarras or racehorse goannas. These can grow up to 2metres long.
The reptile named Ctenophorus Yinnietharra is unique to this region. Known as the Rock Dragon or Yinnetharra Dragon, it’s known habitat consists of two rocky formations in different parts of the Yinnetharra station area. As dragons go, it is not perhaps so impressive as its ancestors, growing, as it does, to approximately 20 cm maximum. It’s difficult to spot, and extremely rare.
Snake species of the region include King Browns, Dugites, Gwardars, Bandy Bandys and Pythons.
All native wildlife, both flora and fauna, are protected under the ‘Wildlife Conservation Act’ in National Parks.
The area boasts numerous varieties of bird and wildlife and is a birdwatchers dream as nearly 100 species have already been identified. Nearby Cattle Pool on the Lyons River is a magical stretch of clear, blue water shaded by magnificent ghost and river gums where visitors may fish, swim, canoe as it is over 2kms long and very deep. An ideal spot for a picnic lunch, a stroll along the banks or just whiling away the hours with a good book under a shady tree.
The department of Environment and Conservation has produced a comprehensive list of the birds which can be seen at Mt Augustus. Follow this link to Mt Augustus Birdlife.pdf to find out more about the birds in the area.