2013s

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Second spawning approaches

It was only possible to get a view of the first spawning by boat This year it looks like there will be two red crab spawnings on Christmas Island. If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll know the first occurred at the end of November. We’re expecting the second spawning to occur on 29 and 30 December. Some crabs will probably begin spawning a day or two earlier and others may continue a day or two afterwards, with numbers diminishing as time progresses.

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#Christmas-Island-National-Park #Parks-Australia

Second phase Bush Blitz kicks off in nation’s capital

[](images/kosciusko-np-looking-to-north-kosciusko.jpg) Kosciuszko National Park | Wonder what the team will find in this breathtaking landscape! Bush Blitz is back – starting a second phase of biodiscovery around Australia. Yesterday we kicked off a six day survey in Namadgi and Kosciusko National Parks where our team of scientists will be looking at flies, bugs, lichen, butterflies, spiders, vascular plants and more. Namadgi is a great place to survey – it has a wide range of plant species and vegetation communities including grass, sedge, shrub and wetlands as well as seven forest communities.

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Kakadu’s feral cat experiment

A baby ringtail possum captured during mammal monitoring The new cat-proof fence closed today There was excitement in the air today as a team of people from Parks Australia, NT Government and Charles Darwin Uni along with traditional owners, students and volunteers drove large animals out of a cat-proof area in Kakadu National Park near Kapalga – and closed the gates. It’s all part of an intensive effort to better understand what role feral cats play in the decline of small mammals across northern Australia.

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Second day of spawning for red crabs

Females gather along the cliff face Loaded with eggs Plenty of eggs could be seen in the water After a good showing on Friday morning, more crabs lined up on the north coast and spawned early on Saturday. The water soon showed plenty of eggs. The baby crabs hatch within seconds of hitting the sea - a truly amazing sight to watch.

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Christmas Island red crabs spawn

Eggs are visible on the top crab This one was still a bit dirty from the mating burrow Females clamber down the cliff face to reach the sea After much anticipation the first of Christmas Island’s red crabs have begun the momentous process of dropping their eggs into the sea. Yesterday morning at 4.00 am we headed up north to see what was happening - but there were very few crabs spawning.

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Adventures of the Cocos buff-banded rail

The birds are released into their new home A tagged rail sets off to explore Thirty-nine rare birds have been transported to a new home on Horsburgh Island as part of an ambitious recovery plan. The endangered Cocos buff-banded rail is found only in Pulu Keeling National Park – a tiny atoll in the Cocos Islands. We’ve been working with scientists, the local government and community to protect the bird from threats like disease or predators - by establishing a second population on a nearby island.

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#Parks-Australia #Pulu-Keeling-National-Park

Split migration for Christmas Island red crabs

The bridge over the main road has been well used for the last two weeks Patchy rain has caused an interesting split in the red crab migration on Christmas Island - it means we’ll have two this year! Light rain at the end of October prompted what looked like a false start when some eager young males began marching up north. However the males reached the coastal cliffs and began dipping in the sea in preparation for mating.

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#Christmas-Island-National-Park

Gardens lends a hand

Generous volunteers also took part in the plant-out, and will assist with ongoing care of the plants The Australian National Botanic Gardens have stepped in to help protect the Ginninderra peppercress – a locally endangered perennial that grows only in two small parts of the ACT. The herb is a member of the mustard family and grows in the Canberra suburbs of Lawson and Mitchell – in a combined area of just 300 square metres.

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#Parks-Australia

Importance of Uluru’s waterholes

A knob-tail gecko with its original tail - above Knob-tail gecko with regrown tail PhD student, Drew Dittmer is back in the park to continue his studies into the park’s amphibians and reptiles. Drew is using pitfall traps at 26 sites around the base of Uluru to find out what types of animals are using the waterholes. Our concerns grew from unexplained frog deaths in some waterholes – and the discovery of unusually high levels of bacteria in water samples taken by junior rangers.

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#Parks-Australia #Uluru-Kata-Tjuta

Namarrgon’s children growing fast

Flip Toms checks out the fully-grown _Aljurr_ In August everyone at Kakadu National Park headquarters was talking about the new arrivals - Aljurr (Leichhardt’s grasshoppers) had appeared! These fellas are like special guest stars in Kakadu, appearing each year to herald the pre-monsoon storm season of Gunumeleng. The grasshoppers take their name from the explorer Ludwig Leichhardt who wrote about the species in 1845. In the park we call them Aljurr which is the name for them in the Gundjeihmi language – they are extremely important to Bininj as they are the children of Namarrgon the lightning man.

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#Kakadu-National-Park #Parks-Australia