Introducing the Animals of Shark Bay
Shark Bay is a region of major national and international zoological importance. More than a third of Australia’s bird species live here, from the six-foot tall emu to the 10-cm long zebra finch. At least 100 species of reptile and amphibian can be found, such as sea snakes, dragon lizards and bizarre, desert-dwelling frogs. The overlap of cool and warm ocean waters means Shark Bay is also home to a profusion of fish and invertebrate species, including a humble bivalve that helped form the region’s coastline.
For a fact sheet on Shark Bay's animal life click here.
Living at the limits of survival
Shark Bay’s fauna includes many endemic species and subspecies, and many species at the limit of their geographic range. These characteristics were a major factor in Shark Bay being declared a World Heritage Area.
Shark Bay is also a World Heritage Area because it is vital habitat for threatened animals. Its sheltered coves and lush seagrass beds are a haven for vulnerable species such as humpback whales, loggerhead turtles and dugongs. Its islands are the last stronghold for five critically endangered land mammals – four of which occur in the wild nowhere else on Earth. Here they are safe from the feral predators and habitat destruction that have wreaked havoc elsewhere. Learn more about why Shark Bay is one of the treasures of the natural world.