2014s

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Male red crabs head back to the forest

It has been quite hot and dry so this male hasn't lost the dirt from the mating burrow The males head back to the forest plateau Christmas Island’s red crabs mated last week and the females are now holed up in their burrows developing their eggs. With their work done, the males are on their way back to the forest plateau. It’s been quite dry so the males are easy to spot as they are quite dirty from the burrows.

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Catching the elusive carlia skink

Rock-figs grew in the cracks, their roots like pythons climbing slowly up the yellowish walls. I had heard a lot about the SWER line before I got to go there. Christine Lambkin, a fly expert from the Queensland Museum, had gone into raptures about the entirely different, unexpected, and mind-blowingly weird species caught there on a previous trip. One of the most elusive of these creatures is the carlia, a medium-sized skink with a bright red throat.

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Whale play blows visitor away

The story and images we received from Booderee visitor Maree were too fantastic to keep to ourselves. I’m completely blown away by the experience I had on Dolphin Watch’s ‘Extreme’. I got to witness the magic bond between mother and calf near Murrays Boat Ramp, Booderee National Park. The mum seemed happy enough to let junior ‘play’ close to the boat. At times the calf rolled over and over, slapping both pec fins lazily in all directions, whilst eyeballing us.

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Woma python makes rare appearance at Uluru

The warm weather has brought this woma python out into the sunshine PhD candidate Drew Dittmer thinks this one may be a female heating up her body during the day in order to develop her eggs more quickly We’ve had a most unusual visitor at Park Headquarters over the last few weeks, this woma python - or as the locals call it, kuniya.

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Red crabs get down to business

Crabs stay behind the crab fence which keeps them off the road The crabs take a dip in the sea before mating begins The Christmas Island red crabs began their annual migration from the forest to the coastal cliffs two weeks ago. Even though rain on the island has come in fits and starts there’s been enough for the crabs to keep going.

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The DNA of dirt

From left, Beth, Matthew and De-arne collect soil at Carnarvon Station Reserve Brian and Matthew working hard, collecting dirt! Bush Blitz team members didn’t just bring back plants and animals from the Bush Blitz at Carnarvon Station Reserve. They also be brought back dirt! Soil samples were collected as part of the Biomes of Australian Soil Environments (BASE) which is measuring and mapping the composition and diversity of soil microbes at 300 locations across Australia.

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Artists create song for Uluru

From left Daisy Walkabout, Nyunku Jingo and Judy Trigger with songwriter and vocalist Stewart Gaykamangu Stewart Gaykamangu writing lyrics Uluru’s traditional owners have taken part in producing a song to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ayers Rock Resort. The song, Tjukurpa Ninti, means ‘spirit knows’ in Pitjantjatjara and reflects the spiritual nature of the world-famous destination. With lyrics in both Pitjantjara and English, it’s a heartfelt representation of the special nature of the landscape.

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Confined to base

On the summit of Mount Lambert Collecting insects on the slopes of Mount Lambert While we were confined to base eight of us climbed Mount Lambert. The walk to the top was supposed to take an hour but took closer to three because we were collecting the whole way up. One or other of us was always chasing something with a butterfly net, or turning over a rock or peering through binoculars at something in a tree.

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Storming Carnarvon

'Tent city' with Mt Lambert in background The latest Bush Blitz was on Bush Heritage’s Carnarvon Station Reserve in central Queensland where a dozen scientists gathered for more digging in the dirt. But the team’s Brian Hawkins thought he might get stuck there…. The first fall of rain woke me. The fat drops quickly developed into a heavy pounding. The sky flashed and the rain cascaded down.

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Junior rangers explore visitor impacts

The kids talked about how long it takes rubbish to break down The rangers collected rubbish left by visitors The junior rangers are following in Rose's footsteps After greeting me with a cuddle, junior rangers from Jervis Bay school were as excited as I was to be out exploring again. This time we were investigating human impact on the natural environment at Green Patch.

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