Australia’s South West makes up part of Australia’s only biodiversity hotspot – and one of just 34 biodiversity hotspots around the world. Almost 80 percent of the plant species in the South West Australia bio diverse province are found nowhere else on earth. The diverse range of wildflowers, forests and native animals found in Australia’s South West all contribute to the rare and unique nature of the region.
Along the coast, the sandy beaches of Australia’s South West are up there with the squeakiest, whitest in the world and fringed by some of the cleanest water found anywhere. Whether swimming or spotting marine creatures, the south west beaches make up part of any great holiday.
Southwest Australia - a biodiversity hotspot
A biodiversity hotspot acknowledges some of the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth. To qualify as a hotspot, a region must contain at least 1,500 species of endemic vascular plants, and it has to have lost at least 70 percent of its original habitat. The South West of Australia meets these two criteria. Separated from the rest of the continent by desert, the plants and animals in the hotspot have evolved in isolation for millions of years. There’s over 20 national parks within the south west to explore, which protect the native flora and fauna.
Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll easily spot the wildlife of Australia’s South West. Native wildlife is best viewed along walk trails and in national parks. Or head to a dedicated wildlife park for a hands-on experience. Best places for meeting the wildlife:
· Bunbury Wildlife Park and Big Swamp Reserve – Over 60 species of native birds, reptiles and marsupials
· Vasse-Wonnerup Wetlands, near Busselton – Of international importance, with more than 75 species of birds
· WOW Wilderness Cruises, Walpole – Learn about the region’s rare wildlife in a funny and informative guided tour.
· Discovery Bay, Albany – Over 100 Australian animals and botanic garden
· Yongergnow Australian Malleefowl Centre, Ongerup – sight the threatened Malleefowl
· Twonkwillingup Nature Reserve, Katanning – Over 76 bird species in a 46 hectare reserve.