Outline Australia’s unique flora and fauna:
Australia has a large variety of unique flora and fauna spread all over the continent, from coast to coast, including in the ocean. More than 80 per cent of the country’s flowering plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia, along with most of its freshwater fish and almost half of its birds. Australia is home to more than 140 species of unique marsupials, including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, wombats and the Tasmanian devil, which is now found only in Tasmania. There are 55 different species of kangaroos and wallabies, native to Australia. Australia’s marine environment is home to 4000 fish species, 1700 coral species, 50 types of marine mammals and a wide range of seabirds. Most marine species found in southern Australian waters occur nowhere else. Australia has over 1000 species of Wattle and around 2800 species in the Myrtaceae family, (gum trees and eucalypts).
Describe the threats to Australia’s flora and fauna:
Since European settlement of Australia began, a little over 200 years ago, 18 species of Australian mammals and about 100 species of native plants have become extinct. Currently about 40 species of mammals and many hundreds of species of plants are threatened with extinction. These figures are among the worst in the world.
Extinction is a natural ongoing process. However at the moment the majority of extinctions are caused by humans. We can clearly tell that it is the humans that are doing the damage, because of the unusually fast rate of extinction. The current rate of extinction in Australia is 100 times the background rate (naturally occurring rate of extinction).
There are many things that cause extinction, some of these are: * Habitat loss * Natural causes (flood, fire, drought) * Introduced species
Picture Caption: This image shows the crisis that Australian flora and fauna are presently in. In this