02 Mar TUSKS & BRIGHT ORANGE EYES … QUEENSLAND WILDLIFE LOVING THE WET
(photo: orange-eyed tree frog, Litoria chloris -part of the Queensland wildlife in Nightfall’s kitchen garden)
And the rain continues to fall, as it’s done for weeks and weeks now. The building of Nightfall‘s luxurious new tent accommodation remains at a standstill and most days it’s even too wet to spend much time in our evolving kitchen gardens. On reflection we’ve had only a couple of hours of blue sky in the past month here at our hideaway beside Lamington National Park – long-time locals are saying they don’t remember ever experiencing such a prolonged wet.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. The trees, which dropped their leaves to make extra mulch when it was dry, are loving the constant precipitation. Their canopies are once-again thick and lush.
There are also a few critters – amphibious Queensland wildlife – making the most of this wet spell. Each night the chorus of happy frogs is testament to a good season. Nightfall’s orange-eyed tree frog (Litoria chloris) population certainly appears to have gone from strength to strength – lucky because this charming green frog, with its bright red/orange eyes, is our personal favorite.
Excitingly, we’ve also recently had a few ‘threatened’ tusked frogs (Adelotus brevis) around our creek-side lounge. These chunky little mottled brown frogs are listed as ‘vulnerable’ under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992, so we’re happy our Christmas Creek camp is home to a good population outside of Lamington National Park. Conserving the riparian vegetation and leaf-litter of their preferred habitat is critical – one of a number of conservation considerations in the design and siting of Nightfall. Tusked frogs look a little like small toads, but their under-belly is black and white with distinctive bright red inner thighs. The male also has small ‘tusks’ which are used in combat with other males.
(photo below from left to right: tusked frog from above, tusked frog underside (handled by zoologist), stony creek frog)