Australia is lucky enough to have several species of brightly coloured Lorikeets.  Named after their stunning technicoloured appearance, rainbow lorikeets are a beautiful sight in many Australian backyards, parks and gardens. In the early 1900s Rainbow lorikeet numbers were concerning, but after protections were put in place, their numbers have steadily built over the last 60 odd years. Larger birds, feral cats and the international parrot trade still pose a threat to these stunning birds, but their numbers are currently strong.

Hunter Valley Wildlife Park’s walk through Lorikeet Sanctuary is home to Rainbow Lorikeets, Scaly Breasted Lorikeets, and Red-Collared Lorikeets.  Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park also boasts a selection of Lorikeets in their aviary.



C175: 25.30CM


HABITAT: Found in open forests and closed

DIET: Their diet consists of nectar, pollen, fruit, seeds and insects

BREEDING: Both sexes prepare the nest cavity and feed the young, but only the female incubates

the egg. The clutch size is between and s eggs, which are incubated for 25 days.



GENERAL INFORMATION: Although wide easterly

distribution, often locally common in southern Queensland.



HABITAT: Woodland, urban parks and gardens

DIET: Eucalyptus and Banksia flowers, not as adaptable to cultivated foods as the familiar Rainbow Lorikeet

BREEDING: May-February, nests are made in a tree hollow. 2-3 eggs laid and incubated for 29 days.



GENERAL INFORMATION: similar to the Raindow Lorikeet, replacing the former in the Northern Territory and Kimberely region.


Largest Australian Lorikeet, they are less tolerant of urbanisation than their cousins.


HABITAT: Woodland, swamps, parks and gardens.

DIET: Range of native flower nectar and insect larvae

BREEDING: Aug-Dec, 1-3 eggs laid in a tree hollow and incubated for 23 days. Young fledge at 8-9 weeks.


Common Wombats are a short, robust marsupial native to south-east Australia and Tasmania. They can grow to an average length of 90-120cm, and can weigh anywhere from 20-39kgs. They have course brown fur, small slightly pointed ears and a round black nose. The toes on their front feet all face forwards to aid in digging, and the claws on the back toes are long to aid in digging and grooming. Due to their natural digging behaviours, wombats have developed a backward-facing pouch, to avoid dirt flying into it. Common Wombats have a hard, cartilaginous plate in their lower back and rump, which they use for protection against predators. The Common Wombat has a lifespan of 15-20 years in captivity, and 10-15 years in the wild.


Common Wombats are a herbivorous species, feeding on grass, roots and leaves.

Social organisation and Reproduction

Common Wombats are a solitary animal, coming together only for breeding, which can occur almost any time of year. Usually one joey is born, approximately 30 days after mating occurs. As with all marsupials, Common Wombats are a marsupial, and joeys will develop in the female’s pouch. Common Wombat joeys usually remain in the pouch for the first 8-10 months of development, and then spend the next 10-12 months developing out of the pouch, but remaining with their mother. Joeys will feed on milk from the pouch until the age of 12-15 months, at which time it will feed completely on solid foods.

Often called “the happiest animal in the world”, Quokkas are a small marsupial related to Kangaroos. They stand at 40-54cm high, with a 24-31cm tail and weighing 2.7-4.2kg. Quokkas have grey-brown fur and small, rounded ears. Their body is quite rounded, and their hind legs are fairly short. In captivity, Quokkas have a lifespan of 5-10years.


Quokkas are nocturnal herbivores, feeding on fresh, young grasses, leaves and succulents, as well as plant roots, from which they can also acquire water. They have also been known to eat snails on Rottnest Island.

Social Organisation and Reproduction

Quokkas live in family groups with a dominant male. Males will occasionally fight over sheltered territories; however groups of up to 150 individuals, consisting of several family groups, have been observed near water sources. In the wild, females generally will not breed between August-January; however in captivity they have been known to breed all year round. After a gestation period of 26-28 days, one joey will be born and make its way to the pouch. One day after giving birth, the female will breed again as a security measure for if the first joey dies. After 175-195 days of development in the pouch, the joey will leave the pouch and remain with the family group. Females reach sexual maturity at around 252 days old, and males at around 389 days old.

Other Quokka Facts

Why are they endangered?

Famous for their territorial and communicative ‘laugh’, the Laughing Kookaburra is an iconic Australian species, approximately 40-48cm in size. There are 2 subspecies of Laughing Kookaburra: D.n.novaeguineae and D.n.minor. In both species, adult males have white wing patches in flight and a large bill which is black above and ivory below. They have a dark eye stripe, and a large pale head with brown spots and crown patch. The back and wings are brown, with pale blue mottling on the wings. The rump is often blue, and the tail is barred rufous-brown and black, edged with white, and plain white below. In subspecies D.n.minor, adult males are smaller. In adult females, the rump is brown or pale blue, and the head is more buff.

Laughing Kookaburras are carnivorous, feeding on small reptiles, insects, crabs and fish, as well as other birds from nests and chickens.

Social organisation and Reproduction

Laughing Kookaburras are very territorial and sedentary, usually living in small family groups which co-operate in raising young and protecting territory. Pairs are generally monogamous, breeding from September-December. Nests are usually in a tree hollow, termite nest chamber or in an earthen bank. Females lay 2-4 white eggs and both parents will incubate and raise the chicks.

One of the most iconic animals known to Australia, Koalas are often mistakenly called the “Koala Bear”. Koalas are not a bear, but are in fact a marsupial. Koalas have thick fur that ranges from very light to very dark grey on the head and body, with white patching on the bottom, chest and ears. They have 5 digits on each hand- 3 work like fingers, and 2 work like thumbs. Koalas also have no claw on their thumb toe, and two toes joined together with separate claws. Koalas have small eyes and a large black nose, and sleep for 18-20 hours a day, primarily waking in the night-time to eat, fight and mate. Males can weigh up to 14kgs, and females up to 10kgs. Koalas have a lifespan of 12-15 years in captivity, and 8-10 years in the wild.


Koalas feed exclusively on Eucalyptus leaves. They have specially designed gut flora that assists in safe digestion without being affected by the leaves’ toxins. Koalas rarely drink water, attaining their hydration through the Eucalyptus leaves. In times of drought or bushfire Koalas have been known to drink large amounts of water, even venturing into areas populated by humans for water sources.

Social organisation and Reproduction

Koalas are fairly solitary animals, but come together for breeding season. A group of koalas living in the same area can be considered a population, with older, stronger males being dominant or alpha-males. Fighting is common, especially between males protecting territory. Males will breed with several females in a breeding season. Females give birth to one jellybean-sized joey, occasionally two- however the occurrence of both surviving is extremely rare. Joeys will develop in the mother’s pouch for 7 months, venturing out when fully developed and riding on their mother’s chest or back. The joey will feed on the mother’s faeces (known as ‘pap’) for 6 weeks to develop the gut flora necessary for digestion. At 12-15 months of age, koala joeys will leave their mother in search of their own territory.

Why are they endangered?

While you can’t cuddle a Koala in NSW, at Featherdale Sydney you can get close to a Koala and possibly event pat one in our Koala Encounter.

Standing at 150-190cm and weighing in at up to 65kgs, Emus are the world’s second tallest bird, and third heaviest. They are a flightless species- however they do have small wings which they use to cool themselves. Their feathers are quite remarkable, as they are ‘double shafted’, meaning that 2 feathers grow from one follicle. This gives Emus their ‘shaggy’ appearance. Male emus have a blue head and throat, whereas females have only a blue ‘ear’. They have powerful longs legs, with large, 3 toed-feet, and can reach speeds of up to 50km/h.


Emus are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of grasses, herbage, caterpillars and grasshoppers. They will also ingest pebbles to aid in digestion.

Social organisation and Reproduction

Emus may live in flocks, pairs or individually, and do not have any sort of structural hierarchy.

Breeding season is from April to November, during which time females may mate with several males. Emus will build flat bed nests, and lay an average of about 9 dark green eggs. After a female has laid her eggs, it is up to the male to incubate and raise the chicks. The female will then leave and join another flock and find another mate. Males incubate the eggs for 8 weeks, and will raise the chicks for up to 2 years.

Short-beaked Echidnas belong to a unique group of mammals called Monotremes. Apart from echidnas, the only other animal in the world that belongs to this group is the Platypus. They are egg-laying mammals with a pouch for the young to develop in after hatching.

Short-beaked Echidnas are roughly 40cm in length with a long, narrow snout (called a beak) and an even longer tongue which they flick into termite mounds and ant nests. They are covered in sharp quills that are dark brown to light brown in colour, and when threatened, they curl into a tight ball and wedge themself into the ground, exposing their quills. Short-beaked Echidnas have short, powerful legs built for quick digging, and the claws on their hind feet curve backwards to push dirt away as they dig. Males can weigh up to approximately 6kgs; females approximately 4.5kgs. Their lifespan in the wild is 10-16 years old.


Short-beaked Echidnas feed on small invertebrates such as ants, termites and larvae. They do not have any teeth, instead using their quick, long tongue to probe inside mounds and nests, sticking the invertebrates to their tongue with a sticky mucous substance, and then squashing them on the roof of their mouth before swallowing. When feeding, they also swallow a lot of mound and nest material including soil.

Social organisation and Reproduction

Short-beaked Echidnas are generally solitary, coming together only for breeding season. They have a rarely-seen breeding behaviour, in which a female will walk for days, often weeks, with males forming a “train” behind her. When the female decides she is ready to breed, whichever male is at the front of the train will be the lucky one to mate with her. Approximately 3 weeks after breeding, the female will lay a soft, rubbery egg directly into her pouch. The egg will be incubated in the pouch for 10 days, at which time it will hatch and a baby (called a “puggle”) will emerge. Echidnas do not have teats, instead secreting milk directly from mammary glands through skin patches inside the pouch, which the puggle will lap at. Once the puggle starts developing quills, the mother will dig a burrow for it to live in, and wean the puggle at 7 months of age. The young echidna will be independent enough to leave the burrow by about 12 months of age.

The Australian Dingo is believed to have been introduced to Australia from Asia between 1000-5000 years ago. Dingoes stand at up to 70cm tall, weighing 12-24kg, with red, white or black fur. They have a slim build and erect ears, with a long, narrow snout and bushy tail. In comparison to domestic dogs of similar size, Dingoes have larger canines. In winter Dingoes develop a thick winter fur coat, which they shed during spring and summer.

Dingoes are an opportunistic predator, and will feed on a variety of mammals, including wallabies, kangaroos, rabbits and possums, as well as reptiles and birds.

Social organisation and Reproduction

Dingoes live in small packs of 3-12 members, with an alpha male and an alpha female. Communication is made through scent marking in faeces, and howling. Dingoes do not bark as is the case with domestic dogs. The alpha male and female will usually be the only breeding pair in the pack, with other subordinate members assisting in the rearing of pups. Gestation is 9 weeks, with an average litter size of 4-6 pups. Pups are born in a den where they will remain until large and strong enough to travel outside. They are weaned at 4 months of age and are usually independent between 6-12 months of age.

Why are they endangered?


Standing at 170-180cm tall, and weighing up to 65kg, Southern Cassowaries are the world’s third tallest bird and second heaviest. Southern Cassowaries have a thick, tall casque on top of their head, with blue head and neck skin, red skin down the sides of the neck, and a double red and blue wattle. They have double-shafted, long black feathers that give them a shaggy appearance, and short, thick, powerful legs.  Each foot has 3 toes with sharp claws, especially the medial claw, which measures at up to 12cm long and can tear through flesh.


Southern Cassowaries are omnivorous, feeding primarily on fruits, seeds and berries, as well as fish and carrion.

Social organisation and Reproduction

Southern Cassowaries are solitary birds, coming together only during breeding season from July-September.  Females will lay 1-6 light pear-green eggs in a large flat nest made of sticks, leaves and other debris. She will then leave to find another mate, and the male will be responsible for incubating the eggs and raising the chicks.

Why are they endangered?

The largest of the Rock-wallabies, Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies stand at 90-100cm tall, with males weighing an average of 8kgs and females 6kgs. They are one of the most brilliantly-coloured rock-wallabies, with brown and yellow rings on their tail, yellow paws, grey fur covering their body, and a white belly with white stripes on their cheeks, hips and abdomen.


Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies are a herbivorous species, feeding on herbaceous flowering plants, tender young grasses and tree and saltbush browse.

Social organisation and Reproduction

Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies live in colonies of up to 100 individuals, consisting of smaller groups with a dominant male, females and sub-dominant males. Dominant males will fight for females, and will mate with as many females as possible. Gestation lasts for approximately 31 days, after which a single joey is born and makes its way to the pouch. The joey will develop in the pouch for 6-7 months, and after leaving the pouch, will remain in a cave or crevice while the mother forages. Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies reach sexual maturity at approximately 18 months old.

Why are they endangered?