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A Glimpse Into the Lives of The Grampians’ Native Inhabitants

22 May 2020

Whilst we’re all staying at home to limit the spread of coronavirus, our abundant native wildlife is going about its daily business blissfully unaware and flourishing. All year round, the Grampians is teeming with a plethora of native creatures.

It’s not unusual to cross paths with kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and emus in our parks, along quiet country roads and even on the grounds of our accommodation providers.

We thought we’d share a peek inside the lives of some of our furred and feathered friends as winter ensconces their habitats.

Photog Darren Donlan Kangaroo Source Visit Vic content hub

Kangaroos

Kangaroos are active in winter and are no doubt loving having the run of the region! They can be found throughout the Grampians National Park and around many of our towns and villages including Halls Gap, St Arnaud and Dunkeld.

In winter kangaroos spend most of their time (when they’re not resting) eating so that they can fuel up with energy to keep warm when temperatures drop. Did you know that temperatures in the Grampians have gotten as low as -2.6 degrees Celsius?

Halls Gap Emuu Source Visit Vic Content Hub Photog Rob Blackburn

Emus

Emus are also on the move in winter and will be roaming freely throughout the National Park, curiously exploring Halls Gap and surrounds, including Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park where they love to visit. Winter is mating season for emus so we joke that they might be enjoying the relative privacy of winter 2020! Once their eggs are laid the female will leave the nest and the male will keep the eggs warm by sitting on them for eight weeks straight. So, it could be a cosy winter of nesting for many of our male emus while the mums enjoy the wilds of the Grampians and forage for food.

CREDIT barechested birdnerd Swamp Wallaby

Swamp Wallabies

The swamp wallaby is also known as the black wallaby. It’s not unusual to spot them around the roads and walking trails of the Grampians. They inhabit the thick undergrowth of our forested areas and sometimes shelter in grasses during the day, emerging at night to feed on vegetation. Unlike other wallabies, the swamp wallaby gets around with its head down low and tail out straight, like it’s perpetually sniffing out what’s next to eat - not unlike most of us seeking out snacks in isolation! Check them out in this video from Halls Gap Zoo, where they seem to be enjoying some delicious lunch!

Photog Darren Donlan VIC Echidna Source Visit Vic content hub

Echidnas

Nothing sparks joy quite like an echidna sighting in the Grampians, but unfortunately in winter these sightings are very rare. During the winter months, echidnas snuggle in their burrows to hibernate. These guys will be in deep torpor, with their body temperature, heart rate and breathing rate right down low to conserve energy, ready to emerge when the weather warms up and it’s time to mate. Imagine the subterranean landscape of the Grampians punctuated by sleepy echidnas staying at home just like we are right now…

Never have we appreciated our native inhabitants more and we can’t wait for you to eventually visit to “meet the locals”. Don’t forget to share your wildlife spotting photos with us on Facebook and Instagram!

A journey of wildlife discovery awaits – The Grampians Way.



Hero image credit: @fabiohanashiro via Instagram
Swamp wallaby image credit: @barechested_birdnerd via Instagram