Backyard Buddies

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Please Note: Orders taken after 13 December will be delivered in January.

  • Tree Kangaroo
    • Price: $74.95 
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    Tree kangaroos really are kangaroos that live in trees. They are marsupials and macropods and are the largest tree-dwelling mammal in Australia.

    In Australia, they live in far north Queensland. Other tree kangaroo species live in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. The two Australian species are the Lumholtz's and the Bennett’s tree kangaroo.

    They do look like kangaroos but have shorter legs, strong forearms and very long tails. Their feet have long curved claws and spongy soles for gripping and climbing.

    Tree kangaroos generally feed on leaves and foliage but will also eat fruits and flowers from native trees in the rainforest where they live. You will be lucky to spot one in the wild as they spend most of their lives in the high treetops. The best way to spot one is to look up and across the tree canopy in late afternoon after a light rain – they often move to the edges of a branch to catch a drying breeze.

  • Australian Fur Seal
    • Price: $74.95 
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    It would be pretty alarming to wake up to find a fur seal in your backyard, but they are our ocean buddies. The Australian fur seal is the most common seal in Tasmanian waters: however, it is the fourth rarest seal species in the world.

    They live around Bass Strait, Tasmania, southern Victoria and southern South Australia but can venture as far north as NSW. They spend most of their time in the sea and come ashore to breed on rocky islands and beaches.

    Fur seals are excellent swimmers but they can also get around out of the water by raising the front of their body onto their front flippers. The males and females are physically quite different although they all have big heads, pointy faces with big eyes and long whiskers and very sharp teeth, like a dogs. A thick layer of fat helps them keep warm in the frigid ocean.

    The males are larger than the females and can weigh up to 350kg. Males are usually brown or dark grey and have a coarse mane on their neck and shoulders. Females weigh up to 120kg and are more slender and a slivery grey colour with a brown underside.

    Fur seals have a dense coat of two layers – a wool-like underfur and long, coarse outer hairs. This double layer traps air which waterproofs and insulates the seal. All seals moult each year, replacing their old fur with new growth.

  • Green Sea Turtle
    • Price: $74.95 
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    Thanks to your support, research is underway into the link between endangered Green Sea Turtles, vulnerable Dugongs, and seagrass, to increase survival rates for all. Floods and cyclones wiped out 98% of the seagrass meadows between Cairns and Townsville (over 400 km!) in 2010-11, which saw a more than double increase in annual dugong and sea turtle deaths in 2011-12. Now research is underway to determine how far and effectively these marine mega-herbivores can disperse seagrass, so meadows at risk of the longest natural recovery times can be prioritised for restoration. This will mean better survival rates for dugongs and turtles.

  • Green Tree Frog
    • Price: $74.95 
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    After rain on a hot day, the Green Tree Frog will emerge. You may find them in your house, your water tank, your drainpipe, toilet, pool, or even mail box, in search of a cool moist spot.

    The rain brings Australian native frog species out in droves - and if you don't see a Green Tree Frog, you may hear them. Green Tree Frogs love to get into downpipes and tanks during the mating season in spring and summer. These locations act like a microphone to increase the volume of their low, slow 'brawk, brawk, brawk' call.

    Your outside lights attract the frog's favourite food - bugs. Green Tree Frogs are a great garden helper. They eat moths and other insects, as well as spiders, mice and other small animals. They catch their food in their strong jaws and use a hand to force it down.

    Green Tree Frogs are very docile amphibians that love to climb. They are well equipped for it, using the large gripping pads on their fingers and toes to scale smooth, vertical surfaces. They can even climb directly up glass.

  • Koala
    • Price: $74.95 
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    Koalas might look like a bear and have the nickname 'Koala bear', but they are marsupials.

    The closest living relative to the Koala is the wombat. Newborn Koalas are so little they could fit on your thumbnail. Koala joeys stay in their mother's pouch for about seven months.

    Koalas are perfectly built for climbing trees. They have rough paw pads with sharp claws which help them grip tree trunks and branches.

    Koalas live in eucalypt forests in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. Koalas are fussy eaters, eating only a few types of eucalypt leaves. They eat up to one kilogram of leaves each day.

  • Little Penguin
    • Price: $74.95 
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    Little Penguins are also called fairy penguins. They are the smallest type of penguin in the world.

    They weigh just 1 kg and are only 30–40 cm tall. While excellent swimmers, they cannot fly.

    Often they have the same mate for life. Both parents feed and care for the young, who leave the nest at 7–9 weeks and live for up to 7 years.

    There is a colony of Little Penguins living in the middle of Sydney – at Manly.

    Little Penguins come ashore to breed, raise chicks and moult. They nest in burrows or among rocks on the harbour foreshores at Manly – sometimes even in people’s backyards or under houses.

    You can see them from a boat or the Manly ferry as they swim and fish around the harbour. You may even see them at the beach. And, if you’re quiet, you may hear them calling with a short sharp bark – or even making growling noises.