There are 25
species of tree frogs, 51 species of ground dwelling frogs, 510 species of
birds, 1500 species of fish, 141 species of native mammals 16 species of
dolphins, 19 species of whales and 439 species of reptiles
that have been identified so far in W.A.
These are 'known' species, there are certainly more yet to be discovered. We
have lost around 54 known species of animals since European colonisation
Australia wide and it is estimated that half of all desert species are now
endangered. Not all native animals have declined since European settlement – the
red kangaroo population is currently estimated at around 10 million – but the
loss of so many types of animal across the country is something we will never be
able to repair.
Two relatively recent finds (at Two Peoples Bay near
Albany) of the noisy scrub bird and Gilberts Poteroo; both of which were
thought to be extinct; does give a little hope that some species can be brought
back from the brink. (There are believed to be only 40 Gilberts Poteroo left in
Australia and as such it is currently our most endangered animal species.)
There are approximately 8000 species of wildflowers. At 17% W.A. has the largest
number of species of flowering plants in the world that are pollinated by birds
(as opposed to insects).
The reason for the great abundance of flowering plants in Western Australia is
firstly the poor soils – which sounds odd at first, but it encourages changes
and experiments in evolution, and secondly, that much of the land has not been
covered by either sea or ice since flowering plants first developed some 100
million years ago. Compare this to Northern Europe where plants had to re-colonise
after the last major ice age 10,000 years ago.
1033 species of
naturalised exotic plants (plants from overseas that now reproduce here without
the help of humans) have been identified. Exotic species that 'go wild' are
considered to be weeds.
The Marsupials of Australia
SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION ORDER
(Lowest to highest)
To request help for sick and injured wildlife you can call
Wildcare on 08 9474 9055