Australian Alpine Animals

There are many cute Australian alpine animals.

Alpine areas are not common in Australia, they cover only a tiny part, less than 0.15% of the continent, and are found in southern New South Wales, Eastern Victoria and central western Tasmania. And ACT.

These are the coldest areas in Australia during the winter, because of their southern latitudes and high altitudes. During the summer though, the area can get heat waves so the animals that live here need to tolerate both heat and cold. Some animals found here also live in other parts of the continent, however there are also some endemic ones like corroboree frog and mountain pygmy possum.

alpine animals
  Echidna by Indrek Torilo via

Australian Alpine Animals: Amphibians and Reptiles
Amphibians and reptiles are ectothermic (so called cool-blooded) animals, and while they are abundant in hot environments, not many of them can live in cold places. The most special amphibian in Australian Alps is the endemic black-and-yellow-striped Corroboree Frog (Pseudphryne corroboree). Others include Baw Baw Frog (Philoria frosti), Cryptic Tree Frog (Litoria paraewingi), Spencer’s Tree Frog (Litoria spenceri), and Dendy Toadlet (Pseudophryne dendyi). Reptiles include tiger snakes and skinks such as Rawlingson’s Skink (Pseudomoia rawlinsoni), Maccoy’s Elf Skink (Nannoscincus maccoyi), Spencer’s Skink (Pseudomoia spenceri) and Heatwole’s Five-fingered Skink (Eulampus heatwolei) that hibernate during the winter months.

Australian Alpine Animals: Mammals
Many mammals that live elsewhere in Australia, have also adapted to Alpine conditions. These include Common Wombat (Vombatus ursinus), Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor), Red Necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus), Spotted Tail Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus), and monotremes echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). But the most amazing mammal in Australian Alps is the endemic Mountain Pygmy Possum (Byrramus parvus) – the only marsupial that hibernates properly over the winter. While the others may sleep a lot and be inactive, they don’t hibernate in the proper way (lower their body temperature to next to nothing and stop the metabolism). Along with four other mammals – Bush Rat (Rattus fuscipes), Broad Toothed Rat (Mastacomys fuscus), Agile Antechinus (Antechinus agilis), and Dusky Antechinus (Antechinus swainsonii), the Mountain Pygmy Possum lives in the highest altitudes of the alpine environment.

Australian Alpine Birds and Insects
Birds tend to be seasonal visitors, most of them migrate to lower altitudes for the winter. The ones you can see up here include Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae), Gang Gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum), Little Raven (Corvus mellori), Wedge Tailed Eagle (Aquila audax), Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea) and Richard’s Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae). Some insects found here during the summer are Thermocolor Grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis), Spotted Grasshopper (Monistria concinna) and the famous Bogong Moths (Agrotis infusa).

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