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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 23
Author
Goannas (& other wildlife encounters)?

crepuscular
11-Aug-2018
4:47:49 PM
When was the last time you saw or came across a goanna (Lace Monitor) on a climbing trip, and where (general area)? I'm particularly interested to know if anyone has seen one, even in the last decade) anywhere near Arapiles, or in the southern Grampians (this is tangential to a research project I'm involved with).

To help kickstart a thread, any other noteworthy or unusual wildlife encounters? I know that climbers tend to encounter raptors such as peregrines and kestrels at crags that most other people wouldn't often see, but any other interesting or unusual birds, or other wildlife in general?


Vwills
11-Aug-2018
8:05:36 PM
I don't recall lace monitor encounters in Vic, but encounter them frequently in the Watagans west of Newcastle, and also at an inner city crag ( Glenrock) along with water dragons. But we are on average in Victoria only two weeks a year. I just recall stumpys, and echidnas at Arapiles.
Locally there is the usual snakes ( boiga irregularis) as well as death adders, diamond pythons, brown and red bellied blacks. Echidnas,. Bees. Possums. Rock wallabies. Powerful owls. Goshawks and Hobbys.
Of course my most unusual climbing wildlife encounter would have to be the phasmid.
BA
11-Aug-2018
8:41:32 PM
On 11-Aug-2018 Vwills wrote:

>Of course my most unusual climbing wildlife encounter would have to be
>the phasmid.

Why don't you rub our noses in it? :-)
gfdonc
12-Aug-2018
4:17:32 AM
We saw a sizeable goanna - I don't know if it was a lace monitor, you'd be able to qualify it - scampering along ledges at Paddy Castle, Central grampians. Spotted about 3-4 years ago I think (I could check photo logs to ascertain an exact date).
Paddy Castle is at S37.17681 E142.39397 (that's actually the car park, but the crag is only 250m east of that coordinate).
gfdonc
12-Aug-2018
4:19:03 AM
Also a medium-sized brown snake parked itself in the descent gully to Lookout Point Wall a couple of years ago. We made a wide detour.
johnpitcairn
12-Aug-2018
3:00:47 PM
Arapiles, May 2014, lace monitor basking on a ledge a couple of meters off the ground just to the right of the start of Arachnus. About a meter long, nasty festering bite wound on its snout.
johnpitcairn
12-Aug-2018
3:08:15 PM
I can probably track down a photo.
barney800
12-Aug-2018
3:36:02 PM
I've also seen a big goanna at the start of Arachnus, just hanging out in the bush. This was in October 2013 I think.

ajfclark
12-Aug-2018
3:38:09 PM
On 12-Aug-2018 gfdonc wrote:
>Also a medium-sized brown snake parked itself in the descent gully to Lookout
>Point Wall a couple of years ago. We made a wide detour.

A few people have mentioned a brown on the sunny side of Bush Rangers. I've seen it once down near Rubbery Underarms, and there was a shed skin just left of Trooper wall a couple of summers ago.
mitch46and2
12-Aug-2018
4:50:26 PM
Have seen 2 araps, 1 in the gums about 2 years ago, walked thru middle of our camp. And one 6 months ago down the northern group in a tree right next to the dirt road. Pretty cool

Groveller
13-Aug-2018
12:27:37 AM
Saw a big goanna walk through the Pines at Araps in about 2013. Had to be at least a meter long. Gave it a wide berth.

bigchris
13-Aug-2018
1:35:36 AM
On 12-Aug-2018 johnpitcairn wrote:
>Arapiles, May 2014, lace monitor basking on a ledge a couple of meters
>off the ground just to the right of the start of Arachnus. About a meter
>long, nasty festering bite wound on its snout.


I have seen one here also. It may possibly even be the same one. It would have been around the same time too. I have photos of it if needed.
hikingoz
13-Aug-2018
5:02:10 PM
I have a photo from about 9 years ago of a goanna in a tree above the Gums campground.

Crepuscular
14-Aug-2018
5:28:51 AM
Thanks folks. Some quite useful info - especially about the one near Arachnus. Goannas are actually listed as Endangered in Victoria and there are surprisingly few records of where they've been recorded despite how obvious they are. I wouldn't imagine there's too many in the general vicinity of Natimuk.

Crepuscular
14-Aug-2018
5:44:01 AM
On 11-Aug-2018 Vwills wrote:

>Of course my most unusual climbing wildlife encounter would have to be
>the phasmid.

Ah, yeah. Any spots on the next expedition for a climber / ecological geneticist? I'm sure I could conjure up some sort of habitat distribution model to track down more than one stick insect!
gtempest
14-Aug-2018
4:29:52 PM
About 6 months ago my partner and I watched a large (2m+) lace monitor (tree goanna) for around 20min or so just near to the parking area below Campbells Kingdom. It was in superb condition and didnít show any fear of us (although we kept our distance). Iíve also recently seen a couple of slightly smaller lace monitors (possibly the same one?) in the paperbark forest at nearby Lake Wyn Wyn.
Itís interesting that when I was a Ďresidentí of the pines in the late 70s and early 80s goannas were quite common in the area. In fact we had times when we couldnít keep food in our tents because the goannas would force their way in and cause damage. The lace monitors would regularly be sighted in the pines and would often climb up into the trees. In those days we would also see another type of monitor. I would often spend time on the boulders below the Pharos and would watch a particular shallow burrow in the sand. Every now and then a goanna would emerge. Unlike the larger and drabber lace monitor, this one was beautifully banded with yellow stripes and was physically much smaller. It also had a yellow tail tip. I always considered this to be a sand monitor but Iím no expert in goannas. The sand monitor appeared to be less common than the lace monitor. These days, unfortunately, goannas appear to be much rarer (at least around the front of the Mount). This is perhaps due to a few factors (maybe periodic changes in food sources or [more likely] the much larger numbers of people now using the cliffs and walking trails). Hope this helps.

Vwills
14-Aug-2018
8:28:32 PM
We actually tracked down 17 and mapped the SE ridge, but by terms of the OEH licence could only collect one per ten sightings, female preferred of course.
>
>Ah, yeah. Any spots on the next expedition for a climber / ecological
>geneticist? I'm sure I could conjure up some sort of habitat distribution
>model to track down more than one stick insect!

Vwills
15-Aug-2018
7:46:19 PM
And you you want the link for the scientific report of the expedition, so you can be informed
https://doi.org/10.3853/j.1835-4211.26.2018.1708

salty crag
15-Aug-2018
9:17:58 PM
Sad to read the numbers have declined over the last few decades. I've read (land for wildlife notes and studies) in some area's feral cats have had a huge impact, they prey on a similar food source and out compete the goanna's.
Is there a feral cat population around the mount, I can't say I have seen any but I have not really looked for them. My guess would be there would be heaps unless there is a control and eradication program.

Chloe
15-Aug-2018
10:33:54 PM
I thought goannas are opportunistic scavengers as well as being hunters. If this is the case then theyíd be susceptible to fox / wild dog baiting too.

Long way from Arapiles, but have regularly seen them at Wingello and Bungonia.

Gtempest mentioned a smaller yellow banded one. The juveniles fit that category.

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There are 23 messages in this topic.

 

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