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Here's some really important and helpful Mudpoo information for you when you're reading:

Mudpoo and the Magic Tree Stump

Bethanga: is a beautiful, sleepy, historical ex-gold and copper mining town nestled amongst rolling hills near picturesque Lake Hume in the far North-East corner of Victoria, Australia. It's where you might find echidnas, wombats, gonnas. bearded dragon and blue tongue lizards, Burton's snake lizards, possums, wedge tail eagles, little eagles, platypus, boo-book owls, rabbits, lots of friendly people including; Captain Pete, Mudpoo and Harry...and Gus!

Bundjalung National Park: This is the most significant wilderness area to be found between the Victorian border and Fraser Island in New South Wales. It contains coastal rivers, dune and beach systems and the Iluka Nature Reserve, which includes the largest stand of Littoral Rainforest in New South Wales. Woodyhead is one of Captain Pete's most favourite places to camp in Australia. 

Goannas: These are Australia's largest lizards; they have very powerful legs and strong claws. The National Park Rangers have identified many sightings of an unidentified goanna in the Iluka Nature Reserve! 

Green tree frog: Foggerty Frog is an Australian green tree frog. He is larger than most Australian frogs. He can grow up to ten centimetres in length and live for about sixteen years. Foggerty loves his scientific name Litoria caerulea. Green tree frogs have become known throughout the world for their suitability to live near humans.

Humpback whales: These are majestic animals that have been described by some as magical. Their scientific name is Megaptera novaeangliae, which literally means ‘big wings'; they have huge pectoral fins. Humpbacks can weigh as much as 45 tonnes. Every year humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to Australia to breed; a 10,000km journey! 

The male humpback whale is one of the very few animals on earth that can sing a song a bit like an orchestra. They sing in a distinctive order, with a beginning, middle and end; their song takes around half an hour to sing. Humpback whales are amongst the most amazing and beautiful animals on our earth. They need your help and support to protect them.

Iluka Nature Reserve: It's been said that the littorial rainforest in the Iluka Nature Reserve contains many mysteries and secrets. If you became a very clever scientist you might say, "If I study the rainforest biodiversity and animal-plant relationships, some of the forest's secrets will be revealed.

It is true to say that there are over 221 species of amazing animals and 187 plant species from 37 families living in a rainforest of only 135 hectares. When you visit Iluka and talk to some of the local people (or a ranger) you can discover for yourself how important rainforests are. Keep an eye out for the forest animals. How many will you find?

Karri tree: Karri trees (Eucalyptus diversicolor) are giant eucalyptus trees grown, on Karri Loam soil in areas of good rainfall in the South Western tip of Western Australia. They are giant trees that can grow up to 300 feet (90m) high. The most famous of these trees (besides Grumblegoo's tree) is the famous ‘Gloucester Tree'. They cannot grow in the Iluka Nature Reserve unless there's powerful magic around!

Kombi: Gus is a Volks Wagon Kombi van, who loves exploring. He is reliable, honest and more like a home on wheels. Most Kombi drivers are the friendliest people on our roads, as they love to wave. Next time you see a Kombi go by, try waving, it just might be Gus!

Littoral Rain Forest: Foggerty frog said "Our rainforests cover only 0.3% percent of Australia and yet they contain half of all Australian Plant families and about one third of Australia's birds and mammal species."

Foggerty also said "It's amazing that the Iluka Nature Reserve contains a 135 hectare littorial rainforest where the forest is growing close to the sea, exposed to harsh salty winds, growing on poor sandy soils made richer by the rainforests own nutrients. It is rare and beautiful and deserves to be preserved forever for all to enjoy!"

Minke Whales: They are much smaller than humpback whales, weighing around 10 tonnes (about the ten times the size of Gus). Their scientific name is Balaenoptera acutorostrata, they are curious whales and they are good friends of the humpback whales. They are being hunted by whalers and need our protection.

Morse Code: The Morse code SOS signal is an internationally recognised signal that means ‘HELP!'.. The letters S and O were chosen because they are easily transmitted in Morse code. (Some people believe SOS is an abbreviation for ‘Save Our Souls' or ‘Save Our Ship').You can try it yourself by flicking a torch on and off, or by flashing a mirror in the sun to create three short, three long and three short flashes. If you're a humpback whale, you can create the signal by using your blowhole.

Ned Kelly: A fearless famous Australian bush ranger who roamed North Eastern Victoria around 1878. Ned tried to rob the rich and help the poor and wanted to establish a Republic of North East Victoria. His last stand at Glenrowan in Victoria is famous for the heavy metal armour he and his gang wore in a shootout with police, making them look extremely scary. Captain Pete is a big fan of Ned Kelly, but it's fair to say many people think he was just a big bad bushranger.

Sand Mining: In the 1960's large scale sand mining commenced along the coastal dunes in the Bundjalung National Park. In 1964 the Iluka community (with help from all their friends) prevented sand mining in the Iluka littoral rainforest. Today you can visit the Iluka Nature Reserve to experience the largest remaining beachside rain forest in all of New South Wales!   

World Heritage Area: The Iluka Nature Reserve is a World Heritage rainforest because of its ancient and isolated location and because its filled with a wonderful variety of plants and animal species. It is a living example of how much can be preserved and protected when an entire community (past and present) work together, to create a magical environment for future generations to love and enjoy.


Here's a Glossary that's helpful for reading:

Mudpoo and the Fungus Mystery

BETHANGA - Is a beautiful ex old gold and copper mining town situated near Lake-Hume in North-Eastern Victoria, Australia. It's just a 25 minute drive from the twin cities of Albury-Wodonga. It is surrounded by rolling hills and boasts an amazing lookout that has picturesque views of the famous Bethanga Bridge and the surrounding district. Things you'll find in Bethanga include: a hall, a general store, a friendly pub, a post office, a cricket ground, a school, a police station, a golf course and breathtaking scenic drives. Lookout, maybe you'll meet some of the characters who appear in this book?

BOOBOOK OWL - Ninox novaeseelandiae: Hooty belongs to the Southern boobook owl family and is Australia's smallest owl. Boobook's are only about 30cm tall and nest in the hollows of dead trees. Dead trees make very important homes for animals and if possible need to be preserved. Very late on most evenings in Bethanga Hooty can be heard making his very distinguished ‘mo-poke, mo-poke' call. Have you heard one near your house? 

BURTON'S SNAKE LIZARD - Lialis burtonis: These are actually legless lizards (that look like a snake) and are very shy and completely harmless. They can be identified by their very distinctive wedge-shaped snout. Captain Pete found one at home stuck in a fencepost hole he was digging. If you accidentally catch one release it carefully into some undergrowth preferably at night.

BUSH DANCE - Out in the Aussie bush people travel for many miles to old halls or shearing sheds where often the smell of fresh tea, scones, lamingtons and delicious Pavlova is so inviting. A Bush dance band will always play the Heel and Toe Polka; the easiest and most fun dance of all. Bush dancing is a wonderful way to make friends and to have fun! Sometimes Captain Pete plays guitar with a Bush dance band; maybe you can spot him playing at a Bush dance near you?

EASTERN BEARDED DRAGON- Pogona barbata: If you stumble across a bearded dragon in the bush, they'll usually freeze and use their camouflage to hide. If you step closer they'll puff up and extend their beard and open their mouth to look really scary. They eat berries, leaves, fruits, flowers and insects.

EASTERN BLUE TONGUE - Tiliqua scicoides scincoides: The blue tongue lizard is Captain Pete's favourite lizard. They are brave and cheeky little characters who use bluff to frighten away larger predators with their enormous ‘hiss' and by opening their mouth to reveal a scary inky blue tongue. They can live very happily in your backyard; although they might steal the odd chook egg or two! If you're lucky enough to find one living in your garden show it respect and it'll return the favour by eating some of the slugs and snails that eat your plants.

EUROPEAN RABBIT - Oryctolagus cuniculus: In 1859 the European rabbit was released into the bush in Australia. These cute little furry animals have caused some enormous problems. They are capable of destroying native plant species, reducing the food supply for smaller native animals, causing major soil erosion and allowing the invasion of bushland weeds. In many areas, eagles and inland carpet pythons feed on the European rabbit.

HEEL AND TOE POLKA - This is often the first dance of the night at any Aussie Bush dance. It's easy and great fun and you get to dance with everyone! The actual tune Captain Pete and Liz played is really known as the Brown Jug Polka. It's usually played in the key of D, which sounds much nicer than B-Flat (unless you're a rabbit)!

INLAND CARPET PYTHON (Murray- Darling carpet python) - Morelia spilota ssp. Metcalfei: The inland carpet python is common along the east coast and the northern tropical parts of Australia. It is scarce in the inland parts of south eastern Australia due to: the loss of its habitat, such as large trees with hollows and hollow logs; fewer native animals to eat and poaching by smugglers. It is important to help protect pythons, because they play an important part in controlling the introduced European rabbit, black rat and the house mouse.  Any sightings in Victoria can be reported to the Department of Sustainability and Environment, or submitted to the Atlas of Living Australia. Ref: (Michael D, Lindenmayer D, Reptiles of the NSW Catchment: A Guide to Their Identification, Ecology and Conservation.)

LACE MONITOR, TREE GOANNA - Varanus varius: Tree goannas love to live in hollow trees, logs and rabbit burrows. It is the second largest lizard in Australia and the fourth largest monitor lizard in the world. They eat spiders, mice, rats, birds, eggs (especially chook eggs) and rabbits!

LITTLE EAGLE - Hieraaetus morphnoides: Little eagles are recognised by their large head and legs, and short tails. They've been seen cheekily riding the thermals and enjoying the views of the Bethanga hills, whilst hunting their preferred food; rabbits!

SILVER GULL - Larus novaehollandiae: Sammy the silver gull is more commonly known as a sea gull. They usually have a sharp shrill ‘Kwee-aarr' call, except for the amazing Sammy who can speak all animal languages (even human) after making a wish on the ‘Magic Tree Stump', but that's another story!

WEDGE-TAILED EAGLE - Aquila audax: The magnificent wedge-tailed eagle is Australia's largest bird of prey. They are sometimes seen soaring high above the picturesque hills of Bethanga with their powerful, fingered wings and wedge shaped tails. They prefer to hunt rabbits, but will also hunt other animals such as reptiles, wallabies and young kangaroos. 


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