A Quick Herp In Wa

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baker

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Last week I travelled to WA for the first time to attend the Australian Society of Herpetologists conference in Faribridge. While most of my time was spent at the conference, I did manage to get a bit of herping done and crossed off a couple of species that I wanted to see in WA. During the first part of the trip I didn't get much herping done as I was focusing on making sure I had my presentation for the conference down pat. Once that was finished though, I was free to have a look around.

However, not much was active. That was until it absolutely bucketed down all for majority of Thursday. Once the rains hit the frogs started to get active an begin breeding. While I was only able to find squelching froglets (Crinia insigniferia), they were everywhere with males calling out of most large puddles and pools of water around the place.
Squelching froglet (Crinia insignifera) by Cameron Baker, on Flickr

With the conference coming to a close lunch time Friday, I decided to stay in WA for an extra two days to have a bit more of a look around and visit Rottnest Island with a couple of my friends that were also over for the conference. Herp wise the main targets I was hoping to find over on Rottnest Island were king skinks, the endemic shingleback sub-species and dugites.
A view across Rottnest island by Cameron Baker, on Flickr

The day started off pretty poorly herp wise, with only a couple of fleeting glances of king skinks as they shot off into the heath. That was until we stumbled upon a partially mummified king skink along a cliff face next to the sea.
Mummified king skink (Egernia kingii) by Cameron Baker, on Flickr

Persistence eventually paid off though and we were able to find some live king skinks, a species I have always been interested in and wanted to see in the wild.
King skink (Egernia kingii) by Cameron Baker, on Flickr

King skink (Egernia kingii) by Cameron Baker, on Flickr

Unfortunately, king skinks were the only species we were able to tick off during our trip to Rottnest, meaning I'll just have to visit that beautiful island again one day to find the rest! Of course, it also wouldn't be a trip to Rottnest if I didn't photograph some quokkas.
A curious quokka (Setonix brachyurus) by Cameron Baker, on Flickr

Quokka (Setonix brachyurus) by Cameron Baker, on Flickr

Quokka (Setonix brachyurus) by Cameron Baker, on Flickr

The next and final day for me in WA, myself and a friend decided to head to Herdsman lake for a couple of hours before my flight to see if we could find ourselves some WA tiger snakes, another species I was wanting to find.

Despite numerous signs around the lake warning that tiger snakes were in the area, all we were able to find after three hours of searching was a pair of two-toed earless skinks (Hemiergis quadrilineata) under some rocks.
Two-toed earless skink (Hemiergis quadrilineata) by Cameron Baker, on Flickr

Two-toed earless skink (Hemiergis quadrilineata) by Cameron Baker, on Flickr

Starting to get tired, and my flight creeping closer, we decided to try walking down one more section which looked promising to see if we would have any luck. After walking down the track for a bit and noting how perfect it looked for tiger snakes, we finally found our first tiger of the day! While it was a bit of a thin individual with majority of its tail missing, I was still pumped to find my first wild tiger snake.
Tiger snake (Notechis scutatus) by Cameron Baker, on Flickr

Feeling good with ourselves it was finally time for me to head back to the hotel and get my stuff so I could catch my flight back home to Brisbane ending my short but extremely fun trip to WA.

Cheers, Cameron
 

Nero Egernia

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Beautiful photos, especially the King's Skinks! I was a bit surprised that you mentioned the Rottnest King's Skinks were dashing for cover. Normally they're outgoing and rather nosy. All you need to do is sit quietly with some lunch and they usually swarm you.
 
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