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Creature Feature: Lace Monitor, Goanna

Samantha Newton, Executive committee member, National Parks Association of NSW
The Lace Monitor (Varanus varius), or Lacie as it’s commonly known, is a large, tree-dwelling, lizard that often surprises bushwalkers by suddenly appearing halfway up a tree, or walking through a campsite. The surprise comes from their large size (1-2 m) which is perhaps magnified by their long tail, and often seemingly stealthy movement. Lace Monitors are carnivorous, and can move fast.

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Eastern Great Egret

Creature Feature

Kevin Evans, Former CEO, National Parks Association of NSW

The largest of the Australian Egrets is the Eastern Great Egret (Ardea modesta) standing almost 1.5m high and weighing in at 1.5kg. A truly majestic bird Eastern Great Egrets can be distinguished from other egret species by the length of its neck, which is greater than the length of its body.

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Fungi – the Forgotten Kingdom

David Noble, Member, National Parks Association of NSW

When you look at an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or National Park Plan of Management, you always see sections on flora and fauna, but seldom even a mention of Fungi. The Fungi Kingdom seems to be somewhat neglected.

This should not be the case as fungi are found in all environments. They are around the roots of most plants, and in the stomachs of most animals. They range in size from microscopic yeasts to huge fungal mycelium that thread their way through hundreds of hectares. They make up perhaps 25% of the biomass.