pics from Mutawintji NP, NSW

Discussion in 'Field Herping and Reptile Studies' started by moloch05, Apr 29, 2008.

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  1. moloch05

    moloch05 Well-Known Member

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    In October, 2006, I went on a quick trip to far western New South Wales. While there, I spent a couple of nights at Mutawintji National Park. This park is located north of the Barrier Highway between Wilcannia and Broken Hill. Mutawintji is a beautiful park that protects rugged gorges some of which have permanent water. The park is home to a number of relict populations of animals more typical of the centre. Examples include Stimson's Python (Antaresia stimsoni), a recently discovered population of Centralian Rock Skink (Egernia margaretae), Freckled Monitor (Varanus tristis tristis), Tawny Rock-Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii) and New South Wales' only population of the endangered Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby. Mutawintji is also home to 12 species of geckos according to a sign at the visitor's centre. An excellent online paper about the reptiles of the park may be found at http://www.rzsnsw.org.au/AZJun05 trial/Swan&Foster.pdf.

    The park has a good campground complete with showers. The trail systems are well marked.

    Here are a few habitat shots.
    ... the gorge country, with water in places:
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    ... dry creek bed
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    ... mulga flats
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    I had good success while at Mutawintji and took a number of photos.

    Gibber Gecko (Diplodactylus byrnei). This was the first Gibber Gecko that I had ever encountered. It really was a nicely patterned gecko.
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    ... cleaning its eye
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    Box-patterned Gecko (Diplodactylus steindachneri)
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    Gehyra variegata
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    Smooth Knob-tailed Gecko (Nephrurus levis levis). A tick is visible on its chin. I found this gecko by chance when I was turning the car around on a mulga flat:
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    Beaked Gecko (Rhynchoedura ornata). These were a common species.
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    Northern Spiny-tailed Gecko (Strophurus ciliaris)
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    Thick-tailed Gecko (Underwoodisaurus [Nephrurus] milii). This race seems more brightly coloured than those from the Warrumbungles.
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    ... a juvenile
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    Ctenotus sp. Does anyone recognize this species? It was large and lived along a dry creek bed. I think that it may be a very pale Eastern Striped Skink (C. robustus) but am not certain. It was shy and this was the only pic that I was able to take.
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    Cryptoblepharus sp.
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    Tree Skink (Egernia striolata)
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    Morethia boulengeri
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    Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa)

    ... near Wilcannia
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    ... Mutawintji
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    Tawny Rock Dragon (Ctenophorus decresii). This species has a limited distribution in New South Wale. Tawny Dragons were a beautiful species that were common on rocky outcrops in the park. Here was the typical habitat where these dragons could be seen.
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    ... female in the foreground, male in the background
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    ... nicely marked male
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    Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)
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    Tympanocryptis tetraporiphora
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    Gould's Monitor (Varanus gouldii)
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    Curl Snake (Suta suta). This was the only snake that I found in the park.
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    It would be nice to see this park when it was not so dry and also when the feral goat population had been reduced. These animals were present in plague proportions and even strolled through the campground in the morning. They must do an incredible amount of damage to the native plants.


    Regards,
    David
     
  2. hozy6

    hozy6 Well-Known Member

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    nice pics good job thnx for sharing
     
  3. Fuscus

    Fuscus Power Seller Power Seller

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    You did well. Thanks for sharing
     
  4. ssssnakeman

    ssssnakeman Almost Legendary

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    Thanks again david, great pics of an awesome place.
    The pair of Tawny Rock Dragon on the rocks is a very cool shot and the sandy looks fat and healthy.
    Do you remove ticks at all or leave them on?
     
  5. hornet

    hornet Almost Legendary

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    Thanks for the pics david, been wanting to see NSW tawny's for a while now but could only find pics of SA animals
     
  6. ryanharvey1993

    ryanharvey1993 Suspended Banned

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    once again, awsome thread. love all the gecko photos, you always find so much
     
  7. redbellybite

    redbellybite Almost Legendary

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    not enough snake ones but great pics anyway thanks..
     
  8. jordo

    jordo Very Well-Known Member

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    Top pics as always David, you got a great variety of lizards.
    How'd you get a good shot of that Cryptoblepharus skink, the damn things never sit still for me ;)
     
  9. callith

    callith Very Well-Known Member

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    very cool
     
  10. Chris.j

    Chris.j Not so new Member

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    Great pics David, I always enjoy reading your threads.
     
  11. moloch05

    moloch05 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, everyone, for the comments.

    ssssnakeman,
    No, I did not remove the tick and actually, I did not even notice it at night. I only saw it later in the photos. The goannas did look nice and healthy despite the drought conditions.


    jordo,
    I know what you mean about Cryptoblepharus. They often are so wary.


    Regards,
    David
     
  12. whatsup

    whatsup Suspended Banned

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    gday david

    cool pics as usual. the goats just trash the place.they leave nothing untouched. we were out at Currawinya np and they are everywhere out there.they literally push trees and shrubs over to eat and eat it until there is nothing left.
     
  13. thals

    thals Guest

    Love every single one of your shots.

    Glad to see you had a great time in that gorgeous environment :D
     
  14. nathancl

    nathancl Well-Known Member

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    Hey Moloch

    the population of Egernia margaretae has recently been reclassified as egernia whitii


    nice pictures
    love the ciliaris

    Nathan
     
  15. anguskennedy

    anguskennedy Active Member

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    Amazing photos - love it!
     
  16. moloch05

    moloch05 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again for the comments. I am glad that the photos are enjoyed -- I had great fun taking them.

    nathancl,
    Do you have a reference that I view? I did a quick but not thorough search and did not find the merge article. I did see this from 2002 where Egernia margaretae was considered distinct. Where the other montane relatives merged with E. whitii as well?

    http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/ZO01065.htm

    Regards,
    David
     
  17. cracksinthepitch

    cracksinthepitch Very Well-Known Member

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    Great Pictures David ,fantastic Geckos.Does anyone go shooting out that way,are they allowed to shoot feral goats there.Sounds like a good job for Aps hunters (past thread by others). Im sure spring time there would be a sight with all the wild flowers coming up. Thanx for sharing.
     
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