Mount Windsor Tableland, Queensland
A preliminary survey of the Mt Windsor Tableland was conducted in July 2011. The tableland is mostly National Park and closed to the general public so we contacted DERM at Mossman to gain entrance. The Parks personnel at Mossman were fantastic, they were communicative and helpful and after the debacle with the Alligator Creek rangers at Townsville this was a very encouraging. They gave us keys to the gates, offered us accommodation in the barracks and really went out of their way to help. I can’t speak more highly of them and we are very grateful for their support.
We turned off the Peninsula Developmental Road in the afternoon and headed the 50km up the valley then up onto the tableland. The tableland is high over 1000m so very interesting survey area for us. We spotlighted streams on the way in and baited with meat on string a section of the Palmer River at 1157 metres which looked absolutely perfect.
The Tableland streams were perfect for crayfish. They were permanent, clear flowing forest streams that were a pleasure to survey. Despite our best efforts we were unable to find and freshwater crayfish.
It was a fantastic area to survey and though we did not find any crayfish most of the other creatures we found were large and unusual.
Intriguingly there were burrows along some of the rainforest stream edges. These burrows were 30-40mm diameter and 300-600mm deep. If we see a burrow we excavate it to see who’s in residence but when we dug these all we found were giant dragon fly larvae. These were huge and they had dug their own burrows. I checked with the Qld Museum and they identified them as Petalura ingentissima the giant petaltail.
Once again our thanks to all the DERM Mossman personnel, their help, assistance and hospitality was greatly appreciated.
PS These little gems were on the wall of the Barracks and I just had to share them with you.