Cape York animals are found nowhere else in Australia.
Many Cape York animals
are the same as the animals in the rest of north Queensland, and the
thanks to some land bridges that existed at times between the tip of
Cape York and
neighbour Papua New Guinea, there
some species of birds, plants and
animals that are only found in Cape York and New Guinea,
else in the world.
Cape York is quite famous for that fact, and many people want to see
those birds and animals on their trip.
thing is, they are not
easy to see,
but if you want to put some effort in
spotlighting and bird watching, it is possible.
the most famous ones are the cuscus
and striped possum. The striped possum
is found in Daintree
as well as in the McIllwraith and Iron
Range rainforests. There
are two speices ofcuscus -
one lives in McIllwraith
Range rainforests, and the other one in northern Cape York.
them are easy to
unless you go
spotlighting night time (or have some really good luck at dusk or dawn).
animal is the green tree python,
which may first look like the much more common green tree snake, which
is found in tropical rainforests further south. The green python is only
found in Iron Range and McIllwraith Range rainforests.
It climbs on branches in the bush
only about a metre above
the ground. They seem to be territorial - the same
individual is in the
same place every night.
Unique Cape York Birds
are one of the rare birds that are only found up here. Males are green
and females are red - I have read that it is because
females sit in the
nest and their colour acts as a warning sign for any intruders, while
fly around foraging (and feeding the female), so the green colour is
a perfect camouflage.
They were the birds that were taken in the old days from the famous Smugglers
Tree in Iron Range
National park. Eclectus
parrots are only found in the rainforests
of eastern Cape York.
cockatoo and eclectus parrot.
species of birds
are found nowhere else in Australia, are the famous palm
They are by far the
largest cockatoos in Australia. They are also known
to be smarter than other cockatoos, and have a more complicated social
They are not very easy to see on a brief trip to Cape York. Like other
birds, they are easiest to spot when they are most
active - at dusk and dawn.
Other Unique Cape York Birds
The above were the most
famous ones, but there are many others such as (some
birdwings), five species of insects (endemic
and cicadas) and butterfliesfrogs,
and 18 species of reptiles
(skinks, geckoes, monitors and snakes).
above are golden shouldered parrot, white streaked honeyeater, fawn
breasted bowerbird, yellow billed kingfisher, and red cheeked parrot.
that weren't mentioned above include rufous spiny
bandicoot, Cape York melomys, Lakeland Downs mouse, Cape York wallaby
and bare backed fruit bat.
the most famous one of all Cape York animals.
other unique animals
that are found nowhere else
Australia (but instead in our northern neighbour Papua New Guinea), but
this is the most unique
The others belong to the groups of parrots, cockatoos, snakes etc, but there is not even another animal
called cuscus in Australia.
Its closest relatives amongst Australian animals are possums, but it is an animal larger than possums. There are
two species found
in Cape York (PNG has more).
Both are solitary and live
up in trees.
Both eat plant material such as leaves, flowers and fruit (meat eating
differs, see below).
And both species are not
only found in the rainforests in the eastern Cape York peninsula, such
as Iron Range.
It lives in tree hollows,
and it is not known for sure how much meat it eats, or really even if
it does eat any meat at all.
It is brownish grey
and has a lighter belly.
It is the smaller of the
two species, growing up to 40cm in length and weighing up
It is also the one less
common to see.
found on the
northern Cape York
about north of Coen.
It is grey,
with a creamy belly, and the male has spots on the back.
It is larger than the
southern species, with max length 58cm, and max weigh
Unlike the southern species, it
does not use a shelter, and it is known that it does
include meat in its diet - insects, bird eggs, even small birds.
It also has a wider
habitat. Apart from tropical rainforest, it can also live
in mangroves and open eucalypt woodland.
And it is also the
species that is easiest to spot, partly because it is not
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