“The Terricks” have a fond place in my heart.
As a child I grew up in the town of Mitiamo which sat along side the Terricks (Now known as the Terrick Terrick National Park”.
It’s part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape, and it was here within the Terricks that a major palaeontological find provided insight into the origins of Indigenous Australians.
It’s home to endangered grasslands, and it provides a home for many threatened plants and animals.
The 3,880-hectare (9,600-acre) national park was declared in June 1988
One point of difference with this national park is that hidden away amongst the pine is a small cemetery where many locals are laid to rest, including my own father.
It’s a truly beautiful and peaceful place. It really is one of central Victoria’s best kept secrets.
I knew I wanted to write about the Terricks, however I’ve struggled to decide on the topic.
There is so much to talk about, the endangered flora and fauna, the rich Aboriginal history the fact that it has its own cemetery, gold course, camping ground and hiking trail. It really is a unique place.
Grumpy Bearded Dragon on the side of the road near the Terricks. Pogona barbata
Given that I am a snake catcher and Herpetology student I guess its only appropriate that I focus on the reptiles that call the Terricks home, some of them endangered.
Distribution in Victoria + before 1970, n since 1970 [source: Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, NRE 2000a]
The Hooded Scaly-foot Pygopus nigriceps belongs to the reptile family Pygopodidae, the legless or flap-footed lizards.
The Hooded Scaly-foot is a large legless lizard, attaining a total length of 475mm, and a snout-vent length of about 180mm. Females reach larger sizes than males. Variable in colour, the Hooded Scaly-foot may be pale grey to reddish-brown on the dorsal surface and whitish on the ventral surface.
Little is known about the ecology of the Hooded Scaly-foot. Like most legless lizards, this species lays a clutch of two eggs once a year.
Within Victoria there have been very few records of the Hooded Scaly-foot.
Old records (pre-1900) exist from Kerang and near Kewell, south of Warracknabeal.
There is also an old record of uncertain date from the vicinity of Ouyen, an unconfirmed record from Ulupna Island west of Tocumwal (mid-1970s), and records from Quambatook (1986), Lake Ranfurly, west of Mildura (1992), and 11 records from Terrick Terrick National Park since 1995 (NRE 2000a; Robertson 1999; J. Coventry pers. comm.).
The population in Terrick Terrick National Park is the only known extant population in a conservation reserve, and is only known with certainty from a small area of habitat (Robertson 1999).