Welcome to the News section of the iNSiGHT Ornithology website (
www.simoncherriman.com). This blog contains updates about various things I've been up to, interesting environmental issues and observations I make regularly while going about my day. It is designed to be fun AND educational, and inspire you about our wonderful natural world. Happy reading!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Bobtails on the move


Today I found this gorgeous Bobtail Skink (Tiliqua rugosa) wandering in our backyard. It poohed all over our brick paving as I picked it up, and I was fascinated to notice several snails in it’s faeces! An excellent native snail-killer, and a good reason not to use snail pellets.

This female seemed enormous and as I pressed her belly gently, I could feel a couple of large shapes inside. She was almost certainly carrying babies, ready to be born in Bunura (early Austumn) this year. Unlike most of their reptile relatives, Bobtails give birth to live young, usually producing 2 or 3 once they are fully grown. The young are very vulnerable to predators including native ravens and introduced cats when they first emerge, and can stay with their mother for up to 2 years for protection!

Bobtails have been on the move since about the beginning of Djilbah (late winter, August), and unfortunately many get run over on our roads. They can often be hard to see when basking in the mottled shade on the road and so get hit accidentally, but other times drivers deliberately swerve to kill them. The main thing you can do is be aware that they are active when the wether starts to warm up, and watch the road carefully!

Thanks to Ruth Haight and her article in Western Wildlife for the information.

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