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I'm only tiny - about 15cm long - but I make up for it in age! I usually live for about 60 years. I lost many of my relatives when early settlers cleared our swamp homes in Western Australia for agriculture. There are about 100 of us left in the wild but we have to be really careful of feral species like foxes and cats. As well as the shell on my back and the scales on my head, I've got barbells under my chin, which help me pop my head above the water. I lay about 3-5 eggs in November but they don't hatch until the following winter when the swamp fills with water.







I'm actually bigger than you think - almost 1 metre long - and my wife carries around my kids in a backward facing pouch. These days it's been pretty tough having to work against drought, floods, rabbits, cattle, sheep, land clearing, dingoes and introduced species of grass to stay alive and feed the family! Some days I just want to hang out in my burrow and hide from it all, but I'm hanging in there and now that Epping Forest National Park in Western Queensland is being fenced off, I've got a much better chance of survival.





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I've had a bit of bad press over the years - people hunted me because they thought I'm a man-eater. But the truth is I much prefer squid, fish and lobsters to humans! I am about 3.5 metres long and usually keep to shallow coastal waters around rocky reefs but I can swim as deep as 190 metres. Sometimes I come up to the surface to gulp some air - but not for breathing! I keep it in my stomach to help me float while I look for food.





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I'm a bit of a night owl. I sleep during the day and spend the night hours looking for food and decorating my nest with grass that I carry in my tail. I'm pretty good at keeping water in the soil because I bury leaf litter and recycle plant nutrients while I'm digging around for food. I live mostly in Southern Australian woodlands and don't need to drink much because I get all the moisture I need from seeds, insects, fungi and bulbs. Feral cats and mysterious diseases have put me and my family on the endangered list.





Even before the Days of the Dreaming, I was known to be fabulous! My squelching voice could be heard across the mountainous areas of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. My name comes from the yellow stripes that look like the ochre used by local Indigenous people during a corroboree. Now, I'm Australia's most endangered frog with only about 30 friends left in the wild. If there isn't enough rain during the autumn breeding season, our eggs won't hatch and we have to wait another year. We also have to stay away from a nasty fungus that eats up the keratin in our skin, stopping us from breathing (frogs use their skin to breathe!). But all is not lost - I can be fabulous again!







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Once my children leave the nest, I prefer to live alone and use my three toes to dig for insects and seeds in the rainforests of Northern Queensland. I'm pretty popular amongst the plants and animals in the local area because I transfer seeds from one area to another. But because my numbers have dropped due to land clearing, feral animals and traffic, I'm finding it hard to spread seeds to replace all the trees that are cleared. It's a relief to know that there are people planting my fruit trees and reducing the threat of feral animals.



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400-year-old fossils show that my great-great-grandparents used to live on the mainland of Australia. But today my family and I only live in Tasmania. For a while there, it looked a bit gloomy as people were chasing us. But in 1941 the Government decided to protect us. We're pretty good at finding our own food in the wild. We also keep farms and bushlands free of blowflies by eating animal carcasses. Many of my friends are sick at the moment. They suffer from a nasty disease, but zoos and environmental groups are helping us to breed new populations free of disease.

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The Diary

The Diary

Learning about environmental problems and what part our actions play in them is important so that we can make wise choices in how we live our lives. Find out what you can do right now that will make a difference forever!


The Green Lane Diary is a curriculum linked education program designed by environmental educators to help 8-13 year old children become aware of the stresses our planet confronts and how sustainable living can make a difference.

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Green Land Diary - a Greencross Australia project

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