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Snowy River Region of Victoria, Australia

Nature volume 160, page 48 (12 July 1947) | Download Citation



The National Museum of Victoria, Australia, plans to make an ecological survey of the Snowy River area in north-eastern Victoria, and four members of the staff have just returned from a fourteen-day period of preliminary investigation. The area is unknown biologically, and contains some of the roughest and wildest country in the State. With the exception of the Snowy River itself, it has never been surveyed. It is steeply mountainous, with an unbroken series of ranges more than 5,000 ft. high stretching northwards towards Mt. Kosciusko in New South Wales. The country rock of the area is mainly Snowy River porphyry, a massive, coarse-grained, volcanic rock some hundreds of feet thick. The steep mountainsides hold little soil, and there are marked floral differences in the northern and southern aspects. On the northern slopes the country is dry and open; but on many of the southerly slopes, where the sun seldom or never penetrates, comparatively thick ‘jungle’ exists. General collecting during the preliminary reconnaissance produced some interesting results. The brush-tailed rock wallaby, Petrogale penicillata Gray, which for thirty years has been considered extinct in Victoria, was discovered to be still living in small caves and crevices on a tumbled, rocky mountain-side above the Suggan Buggan River. Six species of Phalangeridæ and some native rats were also taken, as were five species of lizards and some interesting frogs. Among invertebrates, several species of land snails (Charopa) and a trapdoor spider (Atrax) are new. Owing to the season (April–May), few insects were on the wing, but interesting species of Coleoptera, belonging to the families Tenebrionidæ, Carabidæ and Paussidæ, were collected, some of which are new to Victoria.

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