Nocturnal Wildlife Spotting on the Atherton Tablelands

It’s worth staying up late on the Atherton Tablelands with an abundance of wildlife coming out after the sun has set.

Green Ringtail Possum

These cute little fur balls are only found in North-East Queensland, occurring at altitudes over 300m.

Despite its name and looking green, our friend here is actually a combination of yellow, black and grey hairs, combined to give its green like appearance

Image: IG / @damienesquerre_photo



Chameleon Gecko

The lanky 20cm Chameleon Gecko with its distinctive white-ringed tail is a rainforest specialist, endemic to the Wet Tropics. Like other geckos and skinks it can drop its tail when threatened, but with a special feature – the dropped tail makes a squeaking noise that, apparently, sounds just like a juvenile rodent to distract predators.

It sleeps in leaf litter through the day and is best spotted at nighttime, foraging on the ground or on tree trunks.

Image: IG / @pattomkinswildlife


Yellow-bellied Glider

Also known as the Fluffy Glider, the largest of all largest species of Petaurus, a group of arboreal marsupials, can glide up to 150m. This gorgeous critter is one of the most vocal possum gliders, with a distinctive growling call that it uses as means of communication.

One population of Yellow-bellied Gliders lives in a linear habitat going from Atherton to Kirrama on the Atherton Tablelands.

Image: IG / @solar_whisper


Hercules Moth

Worth staying up for: the biggest moth in Australia with the largest recorded having a 36cm wing span. The Hercules Moth is mostly active at night and only lives for over a week. It doesn’t even eat during this time, surviving solely on food stores from when it was a caterpillar. It is only found in North Queensland and New Guinea.

Image: IG / @onepeach_


Lesser Sooty Owl

This might just be the cutest predator out there. It may seem like the Lesser Sooty Owl has eyelashes for days, but its feathers and heart-shaped face, known as a facial disc, are shaped so that they funnel sound into his asymmetrical ears.

This allows it to triangulate sound and locate its prey with pinpoint precision.

Image: IG / @wildlike_


Keen to discover more wildlife on the Atherton Tablelands?

Alan Gillanders, of Alan’s Wildlife Tours, has brought together his life-long interest in natural history with his love and passion for guiding.

His more than three decades of birding and spotlighting experience offers an unforgettable wildlife experience for those visiting the Atherton Tablelands.

Watch the clip below for a glimpse of what to expect, for more information on Alan’s Wildlife Tours, please visit alanswildlifetours.com.au.

Video by Tanya Snelling, Strategic PR (www.strategicpr.com.au)