emus, elevation & fire

To: <>
Subject: emus, elevation & fire
From: "Norm Canton" <>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 08:56:33 +1000
My posting relates to emu sightings in Queensland.  Having been barred access to the 'nominal but not actual' Blackbraes National Park in central North Queensland, we headed south-west towards the Great Basalt Wall National Park. We had passed through the area to the north of the GB Wall 2 years ago and I noted emus at Cuba Plains Station; this time we skirted west and south of the GB Wall and again encountered emus.
On arriving home I began to transfer these and previous sightings onto a map and it became clear that most of my emu sightings in Queensland were concentrated in two areas; the Torrens Creek - Aramac & Barcaldine area of Central Queensland, and an area from west of Charters Towers (20*S) north to Jervoise Station (18*47' S 144* 51'E). Along with another sighting near the Burdekin Dam earlier this year, this suggests the following:
- sightings are at elevations of 70-120 metres ASL
- none of the sightings were in recently burned areas.
Historically emus were reported at the Townsville Town Common and I have 2 records of an emu (possibly a pet!!) seen from Highway 1 at St Margerets Creek 35km south of Townsville in 1995-6.  However both of these areas have been subject to frequent fires in the last few years, which a flightless bird would have found hard to escape and foraging areas much reduced. 
Though my records are scratchy, try as I may I cannot recall seeing an emu on any of my trips west of Torrens Creek (along the Flinders Highway), or in the Southern Gulf Plains. Perhaps Bob Forsayth at Mount Isa can comment? Also, I lived in the Brisbane area from 1991-93, travelling regularly as far west as Warwick and north to the Burnett, but can't recall ever seeing an emu.
Alex Appleman
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU