Bandicoots, flying foxes, black-cockatoos and possums are just a few species of incredible wildlife found on the beautiful grounds of International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) on the Northern Beaches.
ICMS students could well hear the laugh of kookaburras just outside their lecture venues thanks to the close proximity of the campus to the breathtaking North Head Sanctuary, a well preserved haven of spectacular natural beauty.
North Head is a large, iconic sanctuary on the northern side of the entrance to Sydney Harbour. The site is of high ecological value incorporating the largest remaining area of endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub as well as a threatened population of Long-nosed Bandicoots.
The bandicoot is a nocturnal, medium-sized marsupial with a charming name used to be fairly common in Sydney but its range has been greatly reduced so spotting one is a cause for celebration. The bandicoot is between 31-43cm in length and weighs between 600 and 1100 grams. They have a short, thin tail and sport grey-brown fur. The bandicoot is also the ICMS sports mascot.
Australia is known for its interesting birdlife and the kookaburra ranks right up there with the greats. If you hear its distinctive cackle, be aware that it’s not laughing because it thinks you’re funny, it’s laughing to mark its territory. They are the largest member of the kingfisher family in the world and their beaks grow to 10cm long. Curiously, despite being a member of the kingfisher family, they don’t eat fish but use their large beaks to catch, lizards, small birds, mice and insects.
Keep your binoculars handy for another interesting specimen to be spotted on North Head: the Grey‐headed Flying‐fox, which isn’t a fox at all, but rather the largest bat in Australia. This flying fox has a dark-grey body with a light-grey head and a reddish-brown neck collar of fur. It is unique among bats of the genus Pteropus in that fur on the legs extends all the way to the ankle. Adults have an average wingspan of up to a metre and they can weigh up to a kilogram.
These are just a few examples of the unique and iconic bird and wildlife found on North Head, literally a stone’s throw from ICMS.
Other species to look out for are the, Common Brushtail Possum, Short‐beaked Echidna, Bush Rat and Gould’s Wattled Bat among others. For bird lovers, the list is much longer including, among others, the aptly named Powerful Owl, the Black-Cockatoo, the Mistletoebird, the Golden Whistler and the magnificently swift Peregrine Falcon.
If you are out and about on campus and happen to see one of these beautiful animals, why not take a photo and share it on social media for others to see. Remember to use the ICMS campus hashtag #icmscampus
For a complete list of wildlife to be found in the North Head Sanctuary, click here: http://www.australianwildlife.org/sanctuaries/north-head-sanctuary.aspx