Western Barred Bandicoot
Western barred bandicoot
Photo © CSIRO

Australia is one of the world's 17 centres of 'mega-diversity' of plants and animals.

The south-west of Western Australia is known as one of the world's 34 biodiversity ‘hotspots’, with some of the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on earth.

Western Australia is home to:

  • 141 of Australia's 207 mammal species, 25 unique to the state
  • 439 reptile species, 187 unique to the state
  • more than 1,600 fish species
  • hundreds of thousands of invertebrate species.

Western Australia is also renowned for its unique plants.

From the forests of our south-west to the spinifex grasslands and saltbush of central Western Australia, and the boab trees of the Kimberley, our diverse plant life is treasured by locals and visitors alike.

Despite the efforts of many botanists and amateur naturalists since European settlement, much still remains to be discovered about our plants. We do not know the precise number of species present in Western Australia—the figure is thought to be about 13,000, of which around 3,000 species are yet to be formally named. Current information is available through the Department of Parks and Wildlife's WA Herbarium.

Parks and Wildlife has a key role in protecting our native plants and animals, and does so through the management of lands and waters reserved under the Conservation and Land Management Act, a range of conservation initiatives operating on other lands, the activities of the WA Herbarium, and programs such as Western Shield, Saving our Species, scientific research and the protection of threatened species and ecological communities.

To find out more about Western Australia's plants and animals search our databases such as NatureMap and FloraBase.

Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016

Humpback whale breaching

A replacement for the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 and Sandalwood Act 1929.

Find out about the new Biodiversity Conservation Act


Articles in this category:

Title Modified Date
Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 Tuesday, 06 December 2016 12:40
Bringing animals and plants into Western Australia Friday, 01 August 2014 11:34
WA Herbarium Friday, 10 February 2017 15:50