Australian flora and fauna

Australian flora

For more than 200 million years, Australia has been divided from the rest of the world by oceans. For this reason, a great diversity of species in flora and fauna can originate. The fifth continent has a very specific vegetation and has approximately 22,000 types of plants. Of these types of plants, 90% do not appear anywhere else.

Especially eucalyptus and acacia trees belong to the Australian vegetation, there are approximately more than 600 types of them. Especially the sophisticated eucalyptus appears in the most diverse areas, also in the hot and dry center of Australia. They grow up to a height of 90 meters. There are three major vegetation areas of the Australian flora which are organized as follows:

Tropical zone

The tropical zone is located along the north coast to about the middle of the east coast. It appears in the monsoon climate area and is heavily forested, mainly with deciduous trees; Rain forests appear on the northeast coast of Queensland, including Cape York Peninsula. Climbers, ferns and palms grow among ash, oak, cedar, parrot and birch trees.

rainforest queensland australia

Alongside the low-lying coastline to the north, wonderful mangrove forests expand into the backwaters as well as the outcrops. In the heart, where there are almost savannah landscapes with low and vigorous trees, most of the time, the evergreen sclerophyllous trees, typical of the local flora, also belong to it.

Temperate zone

The temperate zone extends over the southeastern coastal plain and Tasmania and extends north along the eastern coast to the tropical zone. The temperate zone is marked by many wooded and forest landscapes made up of sclerophyllous evergreen forests, temperate climate plants, and savannah forests.

What is typical for the temperate climate are male thickets, shrubby vegetation, shrubby heather, and rain forest with plant growth. In the Australian Alps and in the mountainous landscapes of Tasmania, the vegetation is mainly alpine. There are pines along the east coast as far as Tasmania. Pine trees are in second place due to their economic importance, the many types of eucalyptus are in first place.

Huon pines are excluded from deforestation because they belong to the types that have become rare. Eucalyptus types predominate especially in the wooded areas of the warm, well-irrigated areas of the southeast and southwest. Tasmania is known for its beech forests in the south and floristic familiarity with New Zealand.

Dry area

The dry zone extends throughout the middle arid zone and the west of the fifth continent. Here, the vegetation adapted to the arid climate, opposed to the eucalyptus trees, here, the acacias prevail. (in total, also 500 types). For ground cover in Western Australia, two types of eucalyptus come into consideration, the so-called pitcher-eucalyptus and the karri eucalyptus. They are highly appreciated for their solid and consistent wood.

eucalyptus forest victoria australia

In Australia, there are approximately 2,000 types of imported plants. Most of them came with the development of land, pasture and forestry in the country. It is assumed that until the time of colonization by the first Europeans, up to a quarter of the country was covered with savannas, bushes and forests. Unfortunately, over the next 200 years, most of the local flora was destroyed to make room for colonization and agriculture.

This led to increased erosion and the irretrievable disappearance of more than 80 types of local plants. To date, another 840 types of species are threatened with extinction. Because Australia’s fauna and flora were in danger, the country reacted and put in place some generously enforced nature protection areas that also encompass parts of the sea. Approximately 12% of the country’s surface was declared as a protection zone. Since then, eleven of them belong to the cultural heritage of humanity.

Australian wildlife

In Australia there are more than 378 species of mammals, 828 species of birds, 300 species of lizards, 140 species of snakes and two species of crocodiles. Of the mammals, almost half are marsupials. The rest are placental or monotreme mammals.

Australia has more than 140 species of marsupials, including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, wombats and the Tasmanian Devil, which is now only found in Tasmania.

Did you know that more than 80% of the mammals, almost 90% of the reptiles and more than 90% of the amphibians that inhabit the continent are endemic to Australia? It is no coincidence that a red kangaroo and an emu appear on Australia’s coat of arms! Compared to the other continents, Australia has only a few native placental mammals, which left the door open for marsupials to occupy the country’s ecological niches. To protect its unique wildlife, the Australian government has created more than 500 national parks and passed a number of laws.


Kangaroos are unofficially the national animal of Australia and are described as the largest species in their family. Kangaroos are endemic to Australia and one of the red kangaroo species is known as the world’s largest surviving marsupial.

kangaroo wildlife australia


The koala is a tree herbivore native to Australia, found mainly in the coastal areas of Queensland and Victoria. Koalas are a symbol of the Australian country, but due to habitat destruction and hunting, the animal is a vulnerable species.


Thorny devil

The thorny devil is the only species of devil lizard found in Australia. The thorny devil is a small species of lizard known for its defenses against predators.

thorny devil

Tasmanian devil

The Tasmanian devil is the carnivorous animal found only in the wild forest of the Australian island. The Tasmanian devil is one of the best known terrestrial predators for its strong bite per unit of body mass.

Tasmanian devil


Echidnas are spiny anteaters and one of the egg-laying mammals and one of the rarest animals in the world. The echidna has a sharp backbone like a large porcupine and one of the surviving members of the drab species.



The platypus is another egg-laying mammal endemic to the semi-aquatic area of ​​Australia. The platypus is a combination of duck, beaver and otter, also one of the known poisonous mammals in the world.

platypus australia

Tiger quoll

The tiger quol is a carnivorous animal, native to mainland Australia and Tasmania. The tiger quol is the world’s largest and longest marsupial species and a living carnivore.

quol tiger

Cane toad

Australian cane toads are also known as giant neotropical toads and have been introduced to the country. Cane Toads are highly toxic in the wild and one of the largest of the frogs and toads found in Australia.

cane toad


The dingo is Australia’s wild dog, but it is a separate species of dog found in the deserts and grasslands of Australia. Dingo wild dogs are the largest land predator in the country, but are listed as vulnerable to extinction.

australian dingo

Common cassowary

What’s scarier than a 60kg modern ‘dinosaur’ with killer claws? One that can jump 1.5 meters off the ground. To get the most out of their daggers, cassowaries can jump feet first, so that their claws can slash down through the air towards their target.

common cassowary

They are also great sprinters, with a top running speed of 50 km/h through dense forest. Not only that, they are good swimmers, with the ability to cross wide rivers and swim in the sea.

Saltwater crocodile

The saltwater crocodile is an almost perfect predator, the result of millions of years of evolution. He is a fierce and expert hunter who commands respect and fear. The salado is the largest reptile in the world, with adult males up to 6 m in length and weighing 1,000 to 1,200 kg.

saltwater crocodile

Mistletoe hummingbird

The mistletoe hummingbird’s pre-poop cleaning and dancing routine plays a vital role in the life cycle of this small native bird with its highly adapted diet.

mistletoe hummingbird

After these sweet little red-breasted birds eat mistletoe berries, it defecates by twisting its body sideways, then purposefully wipes its poop onto the branch it’s perched on. The seeds of the berries, which are still intact, are sticky after passing through the bird’s digestive tract. These sticky seeds cling to the branch of their host tree and grow.

Parasitic mistletoe only grows high on other trees, so this relationship ensures that both the bird and the bush can survive.


The numbat is a small endangered marsupial that survives in southwestern Western Australia. Due to its small size, the numbat is hunted by many animals such as wild cats, foxes, dingoes, and birds of prey. Because only termites are active by day, the numbat is the only diurnal (as opposed to nocturnal) marsupial.


It spends the nights hidden in hollow logs or burrows too narrow for predators to enter. To further protect itself from predators at night, it uses its very thick furred rump to block entrance. That’s using your butt to get ahead.

Cephonodes hylas

This moth is a unique species that looks like a cross between a moth, a cicada, and a greta oto. Very few species of Lepidoptera, the order of insects that includes all butterflies and moths, have transparent, scaleless wings.

cephonodes hylas moth

Colored wings can serve many functions, including communication, defense, thermoregulation, feeding, and waterproofing. So why the transparent wings? These wings are believed to reflect 50% less light than opaque ones, making the wings almost invisible in flight. It is like an invisibility cloak that makes it a great defense against prey.

Sugar phalange

If its eyes were bigger, the sugar glider would look like a real, breathing, living version of a Pokemon. This adorable possum has a membrane connecting its front and back legs that allows it to glide through the air, hovering around the trees of Australia’s north and east coasts.

sugar glider

Australian sea lion

These sea lions occupy the waters off the southwestern coast of the country, and you can even splash around with these inquisitive and friendly seals on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.

australian sea lion


Often mistaken for mermaids by ancient mariners, dugongs are classified as Sirenia marine mammals found in the Indo-West Pacific region. Grazing in coastal seagrass habitats, dugongs are most often found between Shark Bay and Moreton Bay in Australia’s northern waters and have long lifespans of up to 70 years. Dugongs are currently classified as vulnerable to extinction due to hunting and habitat destruction.

australian dugong


Kangaroos and emus are on the Australian coat of arms. This is because they are unable to walk backwards, symbolizing Australia as a nation moving forward. As the largest native bird, emus are soft-feathered, brownish, flightless, with long necks and legs (up to 1.9 meters tall). Their legs are among the strongest of all animals.



The wallaby is the smallest member of the kangaroo family found in Australia. They are generally much smaller than kangaroos with a more varied color pattern.



The largest of the kingfishers are carnivorous birds that live in suburban, bush and forest environments across Australia and New Guinea.

dacelo kookaburra

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