Animals of the Snobs Creek Valley
The Barred Galaxia is a small, bright orange / yellow coloured fish distinguished by its black vertical bars on its body between its gills and pelvis. It grows to a maximum size of 160mm.
They are only found in the cool, clear headwaters (above 400 m altitude) of the Goulburn River catchment in the central highlands of Vic, in the southern Murray- Darling Basin. The pristine waters of Snobs Creek have been an ideal breeding ground for these fish and for many years were found only a few kilometres above the Snobs Creek waterfall.
The Southern Boobook Owl (often referred to as the Mopoke Owl) is the smallest and most common owl in Australia. Easily identified by its plumage, which is dark chocolate-brown above and rufous-brown below, it is heavily streaked and spotted with white. Its bill is grey with a darker tip, and the feet are grey or yellow. They are a nocturnal bird that nest in tree hollows that are sparsely lined with wood shavings, leaves and small twigs.
Often observed perched on an open branch or tree-top, the Boo-Book Owl has an incessant repeated call that has become one of the most common sounds of the Australian bush after dark.
The Greater Glider is an endangered species due to its loss of habitat in the mountain ash forests of the central Highlands in Victoria brought about by a combination of land-clearing, logging and the rising threat of bushfires.
It is Australia’s largest gliding marsupial – it can glide up to 100 metres – whose awkward gait gives it a reputation as being the clumsiest gliding possum in the world.
Like the koala, it has a highly-specialized diet, feeding exclusively on eucalypt leaves, buds and flowers.
Currently there is a Federal Court Injunction brought by Environmental Justice, Australia, to prevent logging in areas where the Greater Glider is found.
The proposed clear-fell logging coupes just above the Snobs Creek Falls are subject to this injunction. The area is a popular breeding ground for the Greater Glider.
The Spotted (or Tiger) Quoll is the largest marsupial carnivore surviving on mainland Australia. They are more than 50% larger than other quolls and, unlike the other species, have white spots that extend along their tail.
Spotted Quolls are nocturnal. Up to 70% of their diet consists primarily of medium-sized mammals including gliders, possums, rabbits, and small wallabies. They also prey on the carcasses of dead animals and birds.
The Spotted Quoll is found in a range of forest habitats, from rainforest to open woodland. They require forest with suitable secluded den sites such as rock crevices, caves, hollow logs, burrows and tree hollows.
Since European occupation the numbers of Spotted Quolls has declined significantly in native forests throughout Australia. This is due largely to the fact that they can travel up to 6km each night foraging for food. There exists few areas of suitable habitat -now available in the Australian bush -where the quoll can roam without quolls encountering the effects of humans.
Clear- fell logging and bushfires are the primary threat to the Spotted Quoll. Spotted Quolls require thickly vegetated country in high rainfall areas to survive. They have been classified as endangered.
Spotted Tree Frog
Listed as critically endangered, the Spotted Tree Frog – if you are lucky- can be found in fast flowing streams in mountainous areas. These areas are usually very steep (like the Snobs Creek Valley), always rocky and can range from dense, moist forest at higher altitudes, to very little cover at the lower altitudes.
The Spotted Tree Frog is endangered due to their habitat disturbance near the stream where they live. Any threat to water quality and increases in stream sedimentation effects their survival. They are very susceptible to disease.
Clear-fell logging and the effects of bushfire have had a massive impact on their population in recent years in the Central Highlands of Victoria
The Leadbeater’s Possum is Victoria’s Faunal emblem. A small, cute tree dwelling nocturnal marsupial, it grows to a length of between 150 – 170 mm.
It is similar in appearance to the Sugar Glider, however without a gliding membrane. It has a long club-shaped tail.
Its diet consists of saps and gums from wattle trees, the sweet secretions from eucalypts and honey dew leaves & branches, together with a cocktail of crickets, beetles, flies, moths, ants and spiders.
Leadbeater’s Possums require hollow trees in which to build their bark nests. These hollows take more than 150 years to develop in living trees. Due to these mature aged trees being lost to clear-fell logging and wildfire activity, their habitat is diminishing at unprecedented levels in our native forests.