I just got back from a tour of Tasmania (January 25 to February 7). I led the trip with Mark Hanger from Naturequest New Zealand, and we took 10 enthusiastic participants. What a great country! We saw far more mammals than I expected, even though I had set out with high hopes. We even saw wild Tasmanian Devils!
This one is a captive, I must admit. The views we had of the 4 wild individuals the group as a whole saw were short and sweet.
We saw a lot of wallabies and their smaller relatives, pademelons, plus the wonderfully named Long-nosed Potoroo. Eastern Quolls were sighted at three different reserves, and we watched one out hunting at Cradle Mountain. Duck-billed Platypus, a ton of wombats, all the endemic birds, and an assortment of herps rounded out the trip.
One of my trip favorites was the Echidna (shown below) – and we saw a total of 12 individuals! You can get right up to them when they are feeding, shoving their narrow snout into the ground and spinning it like a jackhammer in search of ants.
I’m planning to return to Tasmania with mammals uppermost on the agenda. Let me know if you are interested in coming along!