Australian Wildlife: Wildlife Explorer

Overview

Australia’s ancient continent tops the list for wildlife-seeking travellers with its unique creatures roaming diverse habitats, from eucalyptus-dotted woodlands to the awe-inspiring beauty of the coral reefs. You’ll find all the essential details of a reference book – from biology to behaviour – alongside practical, on-the-ground information in one handy, readable guide.Wildlife writer Stella Martin guides visitors through dense rainforest and across parched deserts to discover how bizarre creatures evolved in ...
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Overview

Australia’s ancient continent tops the list for wildlife-seeking travellers with its unique creatures roaming diverse habitats, from eucalyptus-dotted woodlands to the awe-inspiring beauty of the coral reefs. You’ll find all the essential details of a reference book – from biology to behaviour – alongside practical, on-the-ground information in one handy, readable guide.Wildlife writer Stella Martin guides visitors through dense rainforest and across parched deserts to discover how bizarre creatures evolved in isolation. Martin combines the encyclopaedic knowledge of David Attenborough with the enthusiasm of the late Steve Irwin. Find out why some fish change sex and how thorny devils drink. Bradt’s indispensable Australian Wildlife will have you up at dawn and out with your binoculars in the outback.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781841623245
  • Publisher: Bradt Publications UK
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 826,543
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Stella Martin has lived in Australia for 20 years, working as a natural history writer for Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. She co-authored In Malaysia, published by Bradt in 1986.
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Read an Excerpt

Australian Wildlife

Wildlife Explorer
By Martin, Stella

Bradt Travel Guides

Copyright © 2010 Martin, Stella
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781841623245

BOX The infernal toad

Brown, amphibious lumps hopping across northern lawns at night are likely to be cane toads (Rhinella  – formerly Bufomarina). A native of Central and South America it is, unfortunately, an increasingly common sight in Australia. It was introduced into Queensland, near Cairns, in 1935 in the misguided hope that it would eat the beetles devouring the sugar cane. With females producing up to 30,000 eggs a season it has since spread, at an average rate of 50km a year, into New South Wales and across the Northern Territory into Western Australia. This epitomises a biological control gone wrong. The toads both eat and compete with frogs, lizards, birds and small mammals. Worse, they are toxic. When they arrive in a new area, quolls disappear, poisoned by this new prey. Goannas and snakes decline, but eventually seem to learn to avoid them. Some animals such as ibises, keelback snakes and some turtles can eat them while kookaburras, water rats and crows learn to flip them over and eat their innards. Unfortunately, the tadpoles are also toxic and poison aquatic life, and toadlets, which are active by day, put diurnal creatures, such as frilled lizards, at risk. Growing up to 20cm in length, but usually 10–15cm, the toad is solidly built with bony ridges above the eyes, dry warty skin (frogs are moist) and bulging venom glands on the shoulders. Toad racing and toadbusting are popular pastimes but busters should be aware that some native frogs look quite like toads. Also, toads didn’t ask to come to Australia and should be treated humanely; freezing is the best way to kill them.



Continues...

Excerpted from Australian Wildlife by Martin, Stella Copyright © 2010 by Martin, Stella. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

PART ONE: GENERAL INFORMATIONChapter 1: Geological backgroundChapter 2: Evolution of Australian wildlifeChapter 3: Habitats PART TWO: Chapter 4: MammalsChapter 5: BirdsChapter 6: ReptilesChapter 7: AmphibiansChapter 8: FishesChapter 9: Invertebrates PART THREE: Chapter 10: Dangerous creaturesChapter 11: The role of fireChapter 12: Indigenous relationships with wildlifeChapter 13: Unwanted intrudersChapter 14: Finding and watching wildlife Further reading/BibliographyIndex
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