What nocturnal animals can you see?

What nocturnal animals can you see?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 06/19/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

Home to a wide variety of plants and animals, the Daintree Rainforest is known for being one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in Australia.

Millions of visitors travel to the rainforest every year, seeking out these unique animals for an unforgettable experience. However, after the tourists pack up a go before the sunsets, heading back and taking no notice of the animals that only just starting to wake up. That’s right, out of the thousands of species hidden within the rainforest, a large portion of them are nocturnal. With the rainforest area coming to life in a new way at night-time. Here are just a few of the noteworthy:

  • Daintree River Ringtail Possum

    Possums appear throughout Australia, popping up in deep bushlands or even in backyards. However, this particular species only found in this one small region. They are named after the region they are based in, is a particular species of the ringtail possum, however, it is also is seen in the Daintree mountains of Thornton Peak, Mount Windsor Tableland and Mount Carbine Tablelands.

  • Rufous Owl

    This rare and spectacular bird is the country’s only exclusively tropical owl. Making its home at the thick rainforest vegetation of the Daintree Rainforest. They can be found in the high branches of the trees but will lay its eggs nearby the tree trunks.

  • Spectacled Flying-Fox

    If you are trekking through the rainforest at night, it isn’t birds flapping their wings from above, but bats. With the spectacled flying fox being a staple in Australia’s rainforests. A dark black colour, with a large straw-coloured patch of fur. These nocturnal creatures live in large packs, eating, flying, and roosting in the trees together. As they only feed on pollen and fruits, they play an important role in pollination and seed dispersal.

  • Water Rat

    Rats might not have the best reputation in most areas of the world, but this rat species is vastly different from their alleyway cousin. With colours ranging from black to golden-brown, this nocturnal rat hangs about in the water or the nearby shrubbery. Due to its dark fur, it is sometimes mistaken for a platypus when swimming around.

  • Echidna

    Although you can sometimes see these creatures in the daylight, they are mostly nocturnal creatures. Popping out of their underground burrows to hunt the region. They are one of the two only known existing Australian mammals that lay eggs, putting them into the unique monotreme category.

  • Northern Brown Bandicoot

    The marsupial Northern Brown Bandicoot is a similar size to a rabbit and is commonly seen in the urban areas of the Daintree. They have short ears, a longish snout, and thick coarse hair. They have very bad eyesight, so as long as you stay a far distance away, they are typically quite easy to sneak up on.

  • Swamp Wallaby

    This is one of the only wallabies that are nocturnal. Known for being the shy and solitary cousin of the Wallaby family, the Swamp Wallaby spends their nights grazing the ferns, shrubs, and of course grass around the region. With thick dark fur, a black muzzle, and a white stripe along the cheek, these wallabies are both unique and stunning to see you in person.

Related article: What endangered animals live in the Daintree Rainforest?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.