The forest is home to a variety of animals although they are often difficult to find so you need to observe carefully and search for clues.
Look around you and you will notice that the nature of the forest has changed. The dark, wrinkled trunks of the ironbark have been replaced by the straight, white, yellow or grey smooth barked Mountain Grey Gum. Ironbarks which can grow to 65 metres. These majestic trees can provide a home and food for one of Australia’s favourite animals – the Koala. The leaves of these trees are low in nutritional and energy content and as a result koalas spend most of the day asleep so you will need to look carefully.
You may surprise a Black or Swamp Wallaby browsing the shrubs and other vegetation. The Black Wallaby has a distinctive grey coat and dark brown to black back with a yellow to orange chest.
On the forest floor you might see the distinctive diggings of the egg laying short beaked Echidna, one of four Echidna species found in Australia. The diggings indicate where they have been using their sharp front claws to find ants and termites which it catches using its distinctive snout and specialised tongue. If you see an Echidna, it is likely to curl into a ball and protect itself with its sharp spines. Stand quietly and watch as it sniffs the air with its snout to check if it can uncurl and continue its search for food.
Even at night the forest will surprise you with its sights and distinctive sounds. Brushtail and Ringtail possums, which you may recognise from your own garden or city park, can be found here as can their rarer relatives the yellow belly and sugar glider. These possums can glide through the air as a result of their gliding membranes which stretch from their forelegs to hindlegs. The ability of these nocturnal, gregarious, tree dwelling animals to glide allows them to both reach food and evade predators such as the Powerful Owl which also inhabits the forest.
You may well hear rather than see the Yellow-bellied as a result of its highly distinctive call and if you look carefully, you may well see V-shaped cuts on the trunks of some trees where they feed on the energy rich sap.
Australia’s remarkable forest residents are here if you look carefully for the signs of forest life!