Fauna of Cooloola

Excepts from Discovering Cooloola - a complete guide & map 
by John Sinclair  1978

Dominated as it is by such a huge biomass, it is to be expected that Cooloola would have a wealth of fauna.  However, although there is a great variety, the populations are relatively sparse.  This is partly because Australia is not well populated with placental animals and also because of the relatively low protein level.   This is compounded by the fact that most of wildlife is very timid and a great number are nocturnal.  However, the quiet and patient observer will be amply rewarded for his effort by discovering the great variety of Cooloola's fauna, which is almost as diverse as the vegetation.

  • Emus - some of the last remaining populations of coastal emus in Queensland and are characterised by a darker plumage.  They sometimes take a swim.
  • Grey Kangaroo - Macropus giganteus - is limited mainly to the western catchment and Noosa Plain.
  • Swamp Wallaby  Wallabia bicolor - found on the sand dunes.
  • Birds:  300 species have been recorded.
  • Wading Birds -  Tin Can Bay being an extension of Great Sandy Strait, is an important stopover on the flyways of Australia's migratory wading birds.  Each Autumn these fly north to Siberia where they briefly exchange the drab brown, almost uniform, colours that we associate with them in Australia for brighter breeding plumage.  Before they begin their long flight back to Australia they have shed this again.  They arrive back in October and early November.  Two different flyways appear to converge on Tin Can Bay, making it a vital area for migratory birds.
  • Yellow-Bellied Glider from South-east Queensland in the western catchment, near the Como Scarp.
  • Australian Bass - outstanding habitat in the pristine waters of the Noosa River, which is now protected within the Cooloola National Park.
  • 5 species of 'acid frogs' have been found in the unusually acid water of the swamps and lakes of Cooloola area.
  • Four-fingered Skink - few recorded sightings
  • Tiger Snake - reaches its northern limit in Cooloola.
  • Taipans, Death Adders and Brown Snakes - are rarely seen unless they are sought.
  • Dugong - large numbers of this endangered species can be found grazing on the rich sea grass beds of Tin Can Bay.
  • Platypus - seen as it plays and feeds in the dark tea-coloured waters of the Upper Noosa River

Land Bird list observed in Cooloola:

Emu Brush Turkey Rainbow Lorikeet
Crested Hawk King Quail Scaly Breasted Lorikeet
Red-backed Sea Eagle Painted Quail Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo
Whistling Eagle Southern Stone Curlew Glossy Black Cockatoo
Grey Goshawk Red Crowned Pigeon Redwinged Parrot
Australian Goshawk Wompoo Pigeon King Parrot
Collared Sparrowhawk Topknot Pigeon Pale Headed Rosella
Australian Little Sea Eagle White Head Pigeon Turquoise Parrot
Wedgetailed Eagle Brown Pigeon Ground Parrot
White-Breasted Sea Eagle Bar Shouldered Dove Pallid Cuckoo
Swamp Harrier Peaceful Dove Brush Cuckoo
Osprey Green Winged Pigeon Fan Tailed Cuckoo
Peregrine Falcon Common Bronzewing Horsfield Bronze Cuckoo
Nankeen Kestrel Crested Pigeon Golden Bronze Cuckoo
Brown Hawk Spine Tailed Swift Koel
Powerful Owl Azure Kingfisher Channel Billed Cuckoo
Barking Owl Laughing Kookaburra Pheasant Coucal
Boobook Owl Forest Kingfisher Rainbow Bee-Eater
Eastern Grass Owl Sacred Kingfisher Dollar-Bird
Tawny Frogmouth Mangrove Kingfisher Noisy Pitta
Owlet Nightjar White Winged Triller Welcome Swallow
White Throated Nightjar Varied Triller Tree Martin
Blackfaced Cuckoo Shrike Australian Ground Thrush Fairy Martin
Little Cuckoo Shrike Golden Headed Fantail Warbler Australian Pipit
Cicada-Bird Tawny Grass Bird White Throated Warbler
Jacky Winter Variegated Wren Buff Breasted Warbler
Rose Robin Red Backed Wren Weebill
Southern Yellow Robin Southern Emu Wren Brown Thornbill
Grey Fantail White-browed Scrub-wren Spotted Pardolote
Rufous Fantail Large-billed Scrub-wren Black-headed Pardolote
Willie Wagtail Golden Whistler Grey Breasted Silvereye
Leaden Flycatcher Rufous Whistler Brown Honeyeater
Shining Flycatcher Grey Shrike-thrush Scarlet Honeyeater
Restless Flycatcher Eastern Whipbird Lewin Honeyeater
Black-faced Flycatcher White Head Sittella Mangrove Honeyeater
Spectacled Flycatcher White Throated Tree-creeper  White Naped Honeyeater
White-eared Flycatcher Mistletoe-bird White Throated Honeyeater
Eastern Spinebill Little Wattle-bird Blue Faced Honeyeater
Noisy Miner Red-browed Finch Olive Backed Oriole
Magpie Lark (Peewee) Banded Finch Southern Figbird
White Breasted Woodswallow Chestnut Breasted Finch Spangled Drongo
White Browed Woodswallow Pied Currawong Catbird
Dusky Woodswallow Pied Butcher-bird Regent Bower Bird
Australian Raven  Black Backed Magpie Australian Crow

Birds of Cooloola, Waterways, Estuaries and Beach that have been observed in Cooloola:

Australian Little Grebe Australian Pelican Darter
White Necked Heron Large Egret Little Pied Cormorant
White Faced Heron Little Egret Pied Cormorant
Nankeen Night Heron Jabiru Black Cormorant
Mangrove Black Bittern White Ibis Little Black Cormorant
Black Swan Strawnecked Ibis Royal Spoonbill
Black Duck Brolga Yellowbilled Spoonbill
Grey Teal Painted Snipe Spurwinged Plover
Chestnut Teal Beach Stone Curlew Eastern Golden Plover
Musk Duck Pied Oyster Catcher Grey Plover
Swamp Hen Pied (White headed) Stilt Grey Tailed Tattler
Red Capped Dotterel Eastern Curlew Green Shank
Mongolian Dotterel Whimbrel Bar Tailed Godwit
Black Fronted Dotterel Knot  Black Tailed Godwit
Caspian Tern Silver Gull Sharp Tailed Sandpiper
Gull billed Tern Crested Tern Fairy Tern
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