Sunday, 27 August 2006

Join the FNQ!

Have booked my accommodation in Far North Queensland for a short break in September. It's actually a field trip but the university red tape* is now so ridiculous that I gave up on that and took annual leave instead. At least now I can stay where I want, change my plans at the last minute and have a look at potential study sites without having to justify every movement.

I'll be staying at Chambers Rainforest Lodges at Lake Eacham. It's a top spot for anyone interested in natural history. Last time, I didn't even have to leave my verandah to see a huge range of birds, including orange-footed scrubfowl, Victoria's riflebirds and spotted catbirds. (I think I only added another two to the list after lengthy strolls around the lake—tooth-billed bowerbird and great crested grebe.)

I'm going to have to buy a digital compact camera too. I can't face lugging the (film) SLR and lenses and the binoculars around. I must be getting old.

*Don't get me wrong. I don't have a problem with the forms. They're fine. It's the nitwittery associated with processing them that shits me. Don't get me started.


David Nelson said...


mimsy borogrove said...

And I.

Did I read somewhere that that area has 25% of Oz plant species and 40% of the butterflies? Or did I dream it?

Snail said...

Although I should be able to recall this stuff without blinking, I had to look it up.

The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA) contains about 17% of Australia's vascular plant species. (I dunno how that changes when you add in the mosses etc).

Of these, about 23% are endemic to the WTWHA. But among them are some real winners!

ABout 60% of Australia's butterflies occur in the WTWHA but I don't know how many are endemic.

Of course, when we start talking about frogs and beetles, then the picture changes. Endemics galore!