You may remember me telling you about of my friend George Madani in Australia, and that I promised to keep you updated on his exploits. Well, George has been way since, and, having only just heard how he has been getting on, I’d like share his latest correspondance and super photos with you:
I hope this email finds you well and that things are a bit warmer at your end of the world. Unfortunately I’ll have to keep this email short as I have only just returned from 5 weeks away and due for another 5 week stint tommorow morning starting at 4 am :s
The Kimberley was great. We had a lot of unseasonal rain (i.e storms in the dry season) which made our work difficult, turning roads to mud and leaving me without dry clothes for a couple weeks. It did however bring out some very special frogs! In particular, Notaden weigeli, the Kimberley Spadefoot!! Finally after 5 years of surveys we managed to find a whole heap of them, across many areas, increasing their known range by at least 100kms! If you remember the glue exuding ant eating frogs I was telling you about, well they are the same sort of fellas, except with a highly restricted range in acid sands amongst sandstone outcrops and only found in the North West part of the Kimberley. When I saw one for the first time I had to sit down as I was so overwhelmed. I sat and watched one eat ants for over an hour before picking it up to see how strong their glue was compared to their cousins. Needless to say I left with one hand glued firmly shut which took days for the dried glue to peel off.
The next adventure will see me acting as an ecological guide on a camel trek through the Simpson Desert. My colleagues were working out there only a month ago and the only word they could use to describe the place after one of the largest rainfall events in recent times was FROGS!! Fingers crossed it will still be wet out there so I’ll do my best to see what I can find!
Below are a few pics of some of the critters we turned up, including a newly described species of skink which we collected the type specimen of back in 2006.
All the best and happy frogging!!
Filed under: Uncategorized |