In This Section
The Dugong is a large marine mammal that likes to inhabit warm, shallow sea grass beds of coastal Northern Australia. Sea grass provide the perfect habitat for them to mate, breed and graze on the meadows year-round. Mating season for Dugongs can be at any time of the year with increased activity observed over the Spring period. Their gestation periods can last up to 15 months for a single calf which are birthed in very shallow water. Dugongs are threatened largely by boat strike as they are slow swimmers and naturally buoyant, weighed down mostly by their bones. Their large body size of up to 3m makes them an easy target for propellors and boat hulls. Other threats such as habitat loss and incidental capture in fishing nets are major threats to these vulnerable species.
The town of Clairview on Isaacs coast has been established as a Dugong sanctuary by the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council. Local migratory dugongs are often spotted grazing in the local seagrasses just off the beach when the tide is up. Isaac Regional Council have partnered up with Healthy Rivers to Reef to collect ‘citizen science’ data and understand more about these ocean mammals in the local area. To get involved with the citizen science or to learn more information Dugong Booklet and Data Collection – Isaac Regional Council.(PDF, 1MB)
Become a part of the Isaac Dugong Monitoring Citizen Science Project.
Download our Isaac region educational booklet and citizen science data collection guidelines here(PDF, 1MB).
The Isaac Region is home to one of the rarest animals in the world, the critically endangered Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat (NHNW). In order to survive, the NHNW requires a steady year-round diet of native grasses and soft sandy soils for burrowing.
Approximately 1hr 45mins North-west of Clermont is the Epping Forest National Park that has been used as protective habitat for the marsupial since 1971. The Forest became a stable habitat for the species continuation because it met the environmental needs of the NHNW with burrows being associated with bauhina trees (Lysiphyllum hookeri) that provided stability to their burrow structure.
A reintroduction project assisted by funding from Glencore saw a second colony established at Richard Underwood National Park near St George in 2009. The project included providing predator-proof fencing, establishing supplementary water stations, constructing ‘starter’ burrows, installing infra-red monitoring equipment and building management facilities on site. The population of NHNW is increasing steadily in Queensland and is currently at 250 individuals approximately. The greatest threat to the NHNW is habitat and diet loss due to the invasion of buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) and land clearing. This means that other events such as localised natural disaster such as fire, flood or disease could wipe out the entire species. To assist the NHNW species recovery the Epping National Park has been declared a Scientific National Park and is not open to the public for the ongoing protection of this species.
Six of the world’s seven species of Marine Turtle live in the waters around Australia, and all occur within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area off the east coast of Queensland. These include; Hawksbill (Endangered), Loggerhead (Endangered), Olive Ridley (Endangered), Leatherback (Endangered), Green (Vulnerable), and the Flatback (Vulnerable). Marine turtles can either be herbivores or omnivores and they spend most of their life migrating along the pelagic zone to find new nesting beaches and new food sources. Marine turtles are most often found between the coastal sea grass habitats and the outer reef of the Isaac coast, and in breeding season female marine turtles may lay hundreds of their eggs on our coastal beaches before returning to the shallow waters.
Turtle hatching can occur on public beaches and turtle hatchlings can often get confused on their way back to the ocean. When it’s time for the eggs to hatch it is important to allow them to get across the beach without any un-natural light or human encouragement, so they don’t mix up false light for moon light. Other major threats to marine turtles are plastic pollution and entanglement, boat strike, urbanisation and global warming. IRC is partnered alongside Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services, RSPCA, and the Department of Environment and Science (DES) to monitor, protect and minimise damage caused to turtles, turtle nests and their coastal habitats. For more information visit GBRMPA Marine Turtles.
The Capricorn subspecies of yellow chat (finch) is found in the coastal Capricornia region in central Queensland. The chat is about 11cm in length and is recognisable by its yellow plumage, brown wings and brown crescent shape on its chest. They are typically found in small shrubs and sedges near marine wetlands.
Due to human interactions, introduction of invasive wetland plants and agriculture, the Capricorn yellow chat is now currently listed as 'Critically Endangered' under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and as 'Endangered' under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992. As of 2021, the estimated population of the sub-species was approximately 50 individuals and is mostly found on Curtis Island, but recently the Yellow Chat Dawson has been previously sighted at Bar Plains west of St Lawrence. Any new sightings of the Yellow Chat Dawson should be photographed and reported to Atlas of Living Australia.
The Retro Slider is a long-bodied skink that is bronze in colour, and its only known habitat is on black soil amongst grass tussocks found in bushland around the Clermont region. Prior to 2010, 13 museum specimens comprised to total knowledge of Allan’s Lersita. All individuals were collected in one of three locations (Retro, Logan Downs and Clermont) in close proximity to one another, between 1929 and 1960. As there had been no records since 1960, it was feared that the species were extinct. However, a survey in March 2010 by the Queensland Government and the Queensland Museum staff confirmed that this species is still present in the Clermont region. There is little known about the skink’s diet and behaviour, so any new sightings should photographed be reported to Atlas of Living Australia.
The main concentration of King Bluegrass is found across central Queensland with a large population found at Gemini Peaks National Park, North-East of Clermont. King Bluegrass is a tufted native grass that grows up to 80cm but is distinguished from other Dichanthium species by its flowering racemes being greater than 6cm in length. Like other blue grasses it prefers to grow in black cracked clay soil types and is now threatened by invasive species competition, grazing and habitat loss from mining, agriculture and infrastructure. For the future of this species, it is important to identify thriving populations and manage the land where it primarily inhabits.