Reptiles and Amphibians of Shark Bay

Shark Bay World Heritage Area is home to at least 100 species of reptile and amphibian. One-third of Australia’s dragon lizard species live here, as well as three species of sand swimming skinks found nowhere else in the world. Many reptile species are at the northern or southern limit of their range, and others are new to science.

On the land

Beautiful goannas, legless lizards and geckos are abundant, and snakes such as the gwardar and mulga may be seen basking in the summer sun.


  • Thorny devil
  • Legless lizards
  • Blue-tongues (Tiliqua occipitalis & Tiliqua rugosa)
  • Goulds Monitor
  • Geckos
  • Dragons
  • Skinks


  • Woma Python
  • Gwader (Western Brown)
  • Whip Snakes
  • Burrowing Snakes
  • Mulga
  • Banded Snake


In the sea

Shark Bay’s marine environment is also habitat for reptiles, including six species of sea snake and a population of over 6,000 marine turtles. It is an important breeding site for the endangered loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are quite commonly seen in the World Heritage Area, congregating in sheltered inlets.

Most of Shark Bay’s reptiles are harmless to humans; some are threatened by human activities.

Loggerhead turtle

Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta)

How do you identify marine turtles?

Turtle identification icon

Click here to go to our Shark Bay marine turtle identification guide!