Like the vegetation of the wet tropics, the communities of animals that live here are the end result of many influences. Some show a Gondwana inheritance, others more recent migrants from Asia.

Therefore we have listed some of the endemic species. Some of these remain threatened, but many that were once threatened are coming back in numbers due to the preservation of the region by private landowners and the state government.

Our property is a private nature refuge that is able to offer these endemic species their homes back without threat, due to the commitment of the Haslop family and the team at Mungumby Lodge. To list everything here we would be here forever. However, this list is a start to what will grow as we take images and learn more about them all.


Bennett’s Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus Bennettianus) (Tcharibbeena)

Endemic to the Mungumby Valley and Shiptons Flat. These elusive species remain a mystery to many, due to their limited numbers select locations of residence and relatively limited understanding we have of the species. It is thought that there are seven species of Tree Kangaroo in the world. Five of them live in Papua New Guinea and two species reside right here within a limited area (less than 4000 km) of Far North Queensland.

Living high in the rainforest canopy these magnificent creatures can leap up to 9 metres in a downward direction and are understood to be able to withstand an 18-metre fall without injury. Aided by their long tails they maneuver with ease foraging the treetops over what is thought to be a vast but highly protected acreage. Seldom returning to the hard ground they are also thought to be very territorial and live alone few really know how and when they adapted themselves to live in the trees rather than the grassy plains where they are thought to have originated. Dendrolagus Bennettianus (Tcharibbeena) are unfortunately little studied so reproductive behaviour and species are poorly understood.

Striped Possum (Dactylopsila trivirgata)

This little bloke has a distinctive black and white striped coat with a pronounced white Y on the face. It has a large head, a long body and bushy tail, prominent ears and an elongated fourth finger. Slightly built with a variable pattern of black and white stripes which run along the length of its body. Has a clinging pungent odour and an unusual way of walking, that is, along horizontal branches with a rowing action (simultaneous swinging movement of diagonally opposite limbs). Its position can usually be traced by the noises of its slurping and chewing, or from the falling of litter from its perch. Even though it is a conspicuous animal, the fact that the Striped Possum is a rare and shy animal makes it one of the least-known possums in Australia.

Spotted Tail Quoll (Dasyurus maculates)

The Spotted Tailed Quoll is the largest Quoll and is generally referred to as the bush cat. Mainly found in parts of Cape York. This species of Quoll is the only one in which the pattern of white spots on the body is continued into the tail. Males measuring up to 130 cm long and 4 kg in weight. Females are significantly smaller than males. We have regular sightings of spotted Quolls on the property and around the lodge. Generally in the early hours of the morning, they can also be seen late at night or evidence of a feast left on the lawn. They are very agile moving through the forest both up in the trees and on the forest floor. Primarily a predator, the Spotted Tailed Quoll is a hunter of other animals such as rats, birds, frogs, possums, reptiles, insects, rabbits, mice etc

Quolls are now an endangered species with the Spotted tail Quoll seriously threatened in its mainland habitats

Fluffy Gliders (Petaurus australis)

Fluffy Gliders in north Queensland are found only in wet sclerophyll forests like ours. Like so many animals found in this particular habitat, they have close relatives in similar habitat further south (southern Queensland to Victoria) but have been isolated from the main population long enough to become a sub-species. Fluffy gliders carry leaves in their coiled tails to line their dens, made in hollows in living rose gum trees. These dens are shared by some or all members of a group, generally consisting of one male, with up to five females and juveniles.

Godman’s rock-wallabies (Petrogale godmani)

The species is patchily distributed and abundance has fluctuated. The colouration blends well with the lichen-covered boulders in its habitat (Black Mountain) where is rests in rocky refuges and emerges at night to feed in the surrounding woodland and vine forest. Little further is known about the ecology of the species and it is presumed to be similar to the better studied Allied Rock-wallaby to the south. Godman’s Rock-wallabies are yellow-brown on the limbs, head and around the base of the tail.  Godman’s rock wallaby has a faint dark stripe across the side of the face beginning at the nose and passing through the eye to the base of the ear. Little is known about their mating habits as little observation or research has taken place since their naming in 1992.

Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

The Brushtail possums are fond of visiting sap-producing sites on stringy bark trees. Unlike the gliders, which are able to hang upside-down to feed from the sap, and thus avid gluing up their fur, these heavier animals must feed right way up and thus approach this sticky feed from below and to the side. Brushtail possums are widespread throughout Australia with one form, the coppery brushtail, living in upland rainforest. It is the common brushtails, however, which frequent wet sclerophyll

Northern Bettong (Bettongia tropica)

The Northern Bettong is found in the tall and medium-tall grassy forests closely associated with wet sclerophyll. Occurring in only a limited number of pockets in north Queensland, this endangered little rat-kangaroo is pale grey above with cream on the belly and a short, black brush on the tip of its tail. Northern Bettongs depend largely on truffles, the fruiting bodies of underground fungi, for food, using the strong claws on their forefeet to dig them up. Truffles are not generally a good source of nutrients for mammals but Bettongs have developed a strategy for using them. Special bacteria in one part of the Bettongs’ stomach consume the fungi. These bacteria and their by-products are then digested by another part of the stomach, providing a balanced diet.


Cann’s long necked Turtle (Chelodina Canni)

A freshwater turtle is frequently found in rivers, lagoons and swamps where it feeds on small aquatic animals around the Cape York region. It has a broad head and a long slender neck hence the common name. The carapace or shell is rounded, brown to black with a paler rim, the lower surface is yellow.

Ring Tailed Gecko (Cyrtodactylus louisiadensis)

Frequently found at Mungumby Lodge these elusive geckos are one of the largest of the Gekkonidae family. Nocturnal this one mainly lives on rock outcrops and bolder scree in dry tropical woodlands, vine thickets and rainforests. It is swift and agile climbing on vines, rough vertical rock, and planks of wood on buildings. Their pattern is striking comprising evenly spaced, sharp contrasting bands of cream and reddish-brown, commencing with a dark band curving back from behind the eyes onto the nape of the neck.

Frilled-Neck Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii)

The frilled lizard (commonly known as the frill-necked lizard) grows to around 45-90cm in length, about two-thirds of which is tail. It has a vivid yellow mouth and a large extendible frill gathered about the neck and under throat. The combination of the gaping mouth and the wide, brightly coloured frill provide an intimidating sight to any potential predator. It frequently runs at speed on two legs to escape danger, quickly climbing the nearest tree to safety. Their colour can be brown or grey with the frill being lighter and often tinged with orange or reddish-brown. Males are bigger than females and have a more robust appearance. There are two long, pointed canine-like teeth present in the lower jaw, which can inflict a painful bite. We have a family of these living on Mungumby Rd.

Amethystine python (Morelia amethistina)

This python is Australia’s largest snake, distinguished by the iridescent upper surface of the body which is usually grey to green or brown with dark markings, the belly is pale grey to greenish-grey. Usually found in rainforests but is often found near buildings when needing shelter. It preys on mammals and birds and will bite but is not particularly dangerous. It lays a clutch of eggs glued together in a pyramid shape, mum curls around the eggs and vibrates to keep them warm