Mammals of Shark Bay

Bottlenose dolphin

Shark Bay is best known as the home of the Monkey Mia dolphins. One of the world’s best-known and most-loved species, these bottlenose dolphins attract thousands of visitors each year. But Shark Bay also harbours creatures far more elusive and mysterious. Some weigh 45 grams, others weigh 45 tons. Some are furred, some are finned; some live under the ground and others never leave the water. But they all have one thing in common: they are mammals, just like you.

Unique on the planet

Some of Shark Bay’s mammals are among the world’s rarest. Five threatened mammal species are found in Shark Bay and four are found in the wild nowhere else in the world. Other species have been introduced to the area after being almost wiped out in other parts of Australia. Shark Bay’s value to the world’s wildlife is so significant that it is internationally recognised as a World Heritage Area. Some of our special mammals are:

Rufous hare-wallaby - a rare species of marsupial found in Shark Bay

Mala or rufous hare-wallaby

Which small rodent builds a giant fortress? What looks like a dolphin but is related to the elephant? And which little bandicoot has a terrible temper? Follow the links, or find out more here. You can also read a report on the status of several of Shark Bay's threatened marsupials here.