Stories in this Theme

What it looks like: This large bat has dark reddish-brown to black fur with white speckling. Its rump is furless, and the tip of its tail extends beyond its tail membrane.


Pigs are abundant in the Top End, with highest numbers in the Darwin-Daly region and western Arnhem Land. They are also common in parts of the Barkly and Gulf regions. Though less numerous in Central Australia, if not eradicated, Pigs could become a problem for wildlife in the MacDonnell Ranges.

What it looks like: This small Ground Orchid has fleshy, creeping stems, each with three to seven oval leaves. Its dull green and white flowers barely open to display themselves. A perennial plant, it is adapted to extremes of wet and dry conditions. As the soil dries and hardens at the start of the dry season, resources are transferred from above ground parts to underground tubers.

What it looks like: Mapania is a large coarse sedge that is sometimes likened to Screw Palms (Pandanus spp.). Its leaves, which can be as long as 4 metres, have three ribs and distinct secondary nerves, and are spiny along the edges. Mapania produces single-seeded fleshy fruits called drupes.

Project Number: CY PA 10 - Turtles

Project Name: Phase Two Cape York Turtle Nest Monitoring Project

Organisation: Cape York Peninsula Development Association

Project Number: CY PA 08 - Wash Down Study

Project Name: Cape York Wash Down Facility Feasibility Study

Organisation: Cape York Peninsula Development Association

What it looks like: Mertens' Water Monitor is a medium to large goanna that can grow up to 1 metre long. It has a dark brown to black back and numerous small dark-edged cream or yellow spots. Its sideways flattened tail is well-adapted for swimming.

What it looks like: The Leatherback Turtle is the largest of all living sea turtles. It can weigh up to 500 kg and have a shell length of over one and a half metres. Its leathery shell has five longitudinal ridges and tapers to a point at the tail end. It is black with lighter spots. The shells of hatchlings are black with white markings on the ridges.

What it looks like: Northern Quolls are grey brown with white spots on the body. The long black tail is sparsely furred with no spots. The size of a possum, a Northern Quoll has a pointed face, sharp teeth and a clawless big toe.

What it looks like: The Masked Owl is a large, speckled bird with big, dark eyes and a narrow pointed bill set in a pale, flat, heart-shaped face. Its chest and belly are white or chestnut, and its back and wings are dark grey to brown. It has strong-clawed, well-feathered legs. It calls with a combination of loud shrieks and whistles.