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Fauna

Apart from abundant underwater life the islands are mainly populated by birds and insects.

Mammals

Kuskus

A small marsupial closely related to the possum. They are hard to spot, since they only come out at night.
They seem to be one of the major food sources for the village dogs which are not regularly fed in most places but left to find food for themselves.

Insects

Green tree ants

They are ubiquituous and their green abdomen makes a good snack food. Their nests are easily spotted. Looks out for lumps of leaves in shrubs and trees.

Reptiles

Sea snakes

They are common in Northern Australia and across the Torres Straits and the shores of PNG. They are not aggressive but most species have a very poisonous venom. Sea snakes bites can be lethal but they will only bite if cornered or trapped by lines or nets.

Saltwater crocodile

There are quite a few crocodiles around the islands. Even though you might never see them it is important to follow some basic safety rules when you are in crocodile territory.

Fish

Sharks

The waters around the islands are home to a variety of sharks. We only saw white tip reef sharks which are a rather timid species that doesn't pose any danger to humans.
Many locals however have lost friends or relatives to sharks as fishing for Beche-de-mer poses a great risk for shark attacks.
As an occasional swimmer and snorkler you need to worry too much, if you follow some simple precautions.

Other Underwater life

Bêche-de-mer/Sea cucumbers

Fishing for Bêche-de-mer - also known as Trepang or Sea cucumbers - used to be a major source of income for the people on the islands. Bêche-de-mer are a much sought after delicacy in Southest Asia and China.
The local fishermen were so proficient at what they were doing that there are now hardly any sea cucumbers left in the Louisiades. So now the fishing for them is banned to give the population a chance to recover.
The sea cucumbers in this area are a rather large species growing up to 50cm in length and 20cm in diameter.


Created by Rhea3403 points . Last Modification: Friday 20 of November, 2009 16:41:50 AEDT by Rhea3403 points .
Page approved by Simon16872 points  on Monday 26 of August, 2013 23:11:20 AEST
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