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Category Archives: Wildlife Martin Cohen

IT’S WHALE SEASON IN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND – GET TO KNOW THE HUMP-BACK

humpIt’s whale season in far north Queensland – a time of year when your chances of seeing a whale up close are pretty good. The local reef and tour boat operators have a network of people who report sightings, and even a short boat journey from Cairns might get you a whale moment or several. It is a breath-taking experience, seeing these huge creatures in their environment. But big as they get, they are still vulnerable, with climate change, collisions with boats, and hunting being the major threats.

The humpback whale is the one you’re most likely to see in far north Queensland waters – LISTEN our wildlife correspondent Martin Cohen talk about what we know – and don’t yet know – about humpbacks: their diet, their migration, their love-life:

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Posted by on May 28, 2014 in EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, wildlife and animals, Wildlife Martin Cohen

 

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IT’S BUTTERFLY TIME IN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

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The far north Queensland wet season is over for another year and the start of the dry is a great time to see butterflies and moths around the region. During the wet, conditions are just too tough for these beautiful creatures to flourish in significant numbers, but as the seasons change, you’ll see plenty of Cairns Birdwing and Ulysses butterflies, and many more.

Our wildlife correspondent Martin Cohen introduces you to the many butterfly and moth species of Cairns and FNQ.

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Martin Cohen at Lake Eacham FNQ

Martin Cohen at Lake Eacham FNQ

 

 

 

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HOW MANY SEASONS ARE THERE IN A TROPICAL YEAR? IN KAKADU, THE ANSWER IS SIX

YELLOW WATERS LAGOON

YELLOW WATERS LAGOON

Here in far north Queensland, indeed, right across tropical Australia, we tend to count just two seasons – the wet and the dry. In the wet, the monsoon brings huge amounts of rain and the possibility of cyclones – and it’s all that water that makes this place such an attractive home to our wildlife. During the dry, the days are hot, nights are warm and the place is chockers with tourists. Of course, it can rain during the dry, but the rain comes from a different direction and in usually much smaller amounts. But within those two broad “seasons”, there are subtle changes, periods when change is on its way and signs of what’s next become more apparent. Indigenous people in tropical Australia identify several distinct seasons – in the lush wetlands of Kakadu, in the Northern Territory, the local mob recognise six distinct seasons.

COMB CRESTED JACANA

COMB CRESTED JACANA

Our wildlife correspondemt Dr Martin Cohen is in Kakadu this week, working with a Japanese film crew who are documenting the region’s most famous wetland – Yellow Waters – and some of its wildlife, including Norm the comb crested jacana, who Martin reckons should get the dad of the year award. LISTEN to Martin explain the critters and the seasons of Kakadu 

Dr Martin Cohen is ABC Far North wildlife correspondent. Hear him on radio Wednesday afternoons at 445 or search for him on your podcast app

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2014 in Aboriginal, EFFINCUE, environment, indigenous, tropical weather & climate, wildlife and animals, Wildlife Martin Cohen

 

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THE CAIRNS ESPLANADE – A WORLD FAMOUS BIRD WATCHING LOCATION

DSC_0273ABC Far North wildlife correspondent Martin Cohen and I have travelled far and wide this year to observe the amazing birds and animals of far north Queensland. One of the best things about living in FNQ is that you don’t have to travel very far from home to see wildlife. In fact one of the best spots is right in the heart of the Cairns CBD – the Cairns Esplanade.

The Nard, as old time Cairns locals call it, is famous the world over as a great birdwatching spot. On any day you’ll meet bird-watchers from many nations there, equipped with some amazing cameras and scopes, marvelling at the birds that come in looking for food in the mud flat when the tide is just right. Pelicans, egrets, terns, all sorts. LISTEN to Martin talk about what you might see here

Dr Martin Cohen is ABC Far North wildlife correspondent. Hear him on radio Wednesday afternoons at 445 or search for him on your podcast ap

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Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, wildlife and animals, Wildlife Martin Cohen

 

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WHAT FNQ AND ECUADOR CAN LEARN FROM EACH OTHER TO LOOK AFTER OUR FROGS

frogABC Far North wildlife correspondent Martin Cohen has a visitor this week –  a man who’s travelled a long way to get to far north Queensland. He’s come all the way from Ecuador to check out our frogs.

OK – it’s a bit more than checking them out. Andres Merino-Viteri is an Ecuadorian herpetologist studying the physiological thresholds of Microhylid frogs in the wet tropics. There are about 500 species of Microhylids – small frogs found in tropical zones, including here in FNQ.

ANDRES MERINO-VITERI

ANDRES MERINO-VITERI

Andres worked at the Museo de Zoología at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, hoping to find causes of the unexpected disappearance of several species of frogs along the Ecuadorian Andes during the 80s and 90s. Climate change was a key suspect, and some of these species are now possibly extinct. He’s working on his PhD project here, modelling the impacts of climate change on the range of Microhylid frogs and looking for ways to keep the frogs from extinction.

Martin and Andres met in Cairns six years ago – LISTEN to them talking about frogs and threats to frog populations here

Dr Martin Cohen is ABC Far North wildlife correspondent. Hear him on radio Wednesday afternoons at 445 or search for him on your podcast app.2 mart

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in EFFINCUE, environment, rd on the road, wildlife and animals, Wildlife Martin Cohen

 

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ABC FAR NORTH WILDLIFE MAN LAUNCHES NEW FIELD GUIDE TO CREATURES OF THE GREAT BARRIER REEF

DSC_0161Our ABC Far North wildlife correspondent Martin Cohen is once again a published author – and if you’re thinking about a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, take a copy of his latest book with you.

Martin launched 101 Animals of the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns this morning. It’s the latest in a series of field guides to the creatures of tropical far north Queensland put together since 2009 by Martin and his late partner Julia Cooper.

All the birds, mammals, fish, corals & reptiles you’ll see on the Reef are illustrated and there’s information and stories about them. It’s about to become available at tour operators and book shops in Cairns and Townsville, and will be available online here

LISTEN to my interview with Martin here

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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, Coral Sea, EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland, wildlife and animals, Wildlife Martin Cohen

 

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GARDENING WITH AUSTRALIAN NATIVE PLANTS IN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

THE BUMPY SATINASH MARTIN BOUGHT WILL LOOK LIKE THIS WHEN IT GROWS UP

THE BUMPY SATINASH MARTIN BOUGHT WILL LOOK LIKE THIS WHEN IT GROWS UP

As the gardeners of far north Queensland know, lots of plants love our tropical climate and do really well here. Some non-native or introduced species do well too, but some just can’t handle the weather. People choose plants and trees for their gardens for all sorts of reasons – appearance, fragrance, reminds them of somewhere else, easy to look after, low maintenance.

2 martOur wildlife correspondent Martin Cohen would like you to think about native plants for your garden.  He was in a plant buying kind of mood when we drove along the Kennedy Highway south of Mareeba, and as we got close to Walkamin, Martin said “there! Over there, pull in there”. The there he was referring to is the Yuruga Native Plant Nursery. He bought some plants, and we had a yarn bout the virtues of native plants with Marcus Achatz.

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Dr Martin Cohen is ABC Far North wildlife correspondent. Hear him on radio Wednesday afternoons at 445 or search for him on your podcast app.

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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland, Wildlife Martin Cohen

 

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