Kangaroo Island is a revered wildlife utopia. Through its isolation from the mainland, the Island has burgeoned ecologically becoming a sanctuary to countless species, many of which are unique to the region. This zoo without walls offers plentiful sightings opportunities and hands-on encounters with Australia’s wildlife.
Wildlife on KI
Kangaroo Island has its’ own subspecies of kangaroo – named oddly enough – the Kangaroo Island or Sooty Kangaroo, and is related to the Western Grey. Compared to Western Greys they are shorter, stockier, have luxurious chocolate brown fur with black tips KI kangaroos are most active late afternoon, at night and early morning, with the middle of the day spent resting in the shade, particularly in hot weather.
Can I see Kangaroos at KIWR?
Kangaroo’s are very shy animals so very rarely you will see them in the middle of the retreat, however they can be often encountered whilst walking on our trails, as shown in the picture below.
Much smaller than kangaroos, Tammar wallabies have a dark grey coat with reddish-brown arms, feet and flanks, and white cheek stripes. Tammar wallabies are nocturnal and are best seen dawn and dusk. During the day Tammar wallabies rest in dense, low vegetation. They move through tunnels in the vegetation from their daytime shelters to grassed areas to feed in the evening. Kangaroo Island has the largest remaining natural population of Tammar wallabies. They were once common in South and Western Australia, but loss of habitat through land clearance and predation by introduced foxes and cats, has decimated mainland populations.
Can I see Wallabys at KIWR?
Like Kangaroo, Wallabys can be shy and timid animals. But you will spot them in our courtyard feeding on our grass plants. The Wallabys that frequent our property are a little more inquisitive than others, as shown in the photo below.
One of the strangest and most enduring animals on the Island are Echidnas. They are monotremes – the oldest of the three mammal groups (the other two being marsupials and placentals). The group name comes from the single waste and reproductive vent which is similar to birds and reptiles. Monotremes lay eggs which are soft and leathery and young are born highly dependent on the mother. Monotremes go back at least 110 million years so they shared the earth with dinosaurs.The Echidna is the only native australian mammal found through-out the country in a vast array of different climatic zones and habitat types. The Echidna is a stocky animal covered with sharp spines on its back and sides. Its long, thin, snout houses a sticky tongue used to catch food. It has a pouch to incubate its egg and carry its baby ‘puggle’.
Can I see Echidnas at KIWR?
Echidnas are abundant across the property due to suitable habitat and no significant predators and you will most likely spot one on our walking trails. With exceptional hearing and a good sense of smell, echidnas will freeze when disturbed and then curl into a ball, often trying to bury themselves in the leaf litter or soil. If you find an Echidna, watch quietly and patiently from at least 20 m away.
Koalas were not on Kangaroo Island at the time of European settlement. In the 1920s 18 koalas were released in Flinders Chase National Park to save their declining mainland population from the ravages of the fur trade and land clearance. The population quickly established, their numbers rapidly increased and Koalas moved across the island. Koalas spend most of the day resting in a tree fork, usually climbing into the canopy around dusk to feed. Look for their ball-shape high in the canopy, or as they move between branches.
Can I see Koalas at KIWR
You can spot Koalas in the Eucalyptus Trees in the dense Forrest at the back of our property. In summer we frequently see Koalas in the trees in our Courtyard(page main picture) & Car-Park(see above photo). Mostly spotted at dusk during the summer, you can hear the almost pig-like grunting sound they make in the evenings.
Kangaroo Island is home to two different types of Possum; Brush Tail and Ring Tail. Brush Tail Possums have pale undersides and dark brown/black brushy tails(hence the name). Ring Tail Possums were introduced to Kangaroo Island and are made distinct by their long tapering prehensile tails, of which at least a third is always white. They occur in a variety of habitats, including areas of rainforest, scrub and woodland, open and closed forests and also coastal dunes, provided adequate shrubby cover is available. They have adapted well to live quite happily in domestic gardens, nesting in trees and even house roofs and taking advantage of a wide range of introduced flowers and fruit for their diet.
Can I see Possums at KIWR?
Possums are the animal that you will probably see most during your stay at KIWR. As soon as night falls they are everywhere in our Courtyard; in the trees, in and around our bins and staring into our staff room because that’s where the most food is!