Outback Australia is one of the few places on Earth where nature remains vast, wild, abundant and largely untouched by development. Comprised of forests, woodlands and grasslands, this area has a vast and unique array of plant and animal life. In fact, Australia ranks first among all countries for the total number of uniquely, native mammal and reptile species.
Australia’s marine environment is no less exceptional. The waters around the country are a superhighway for marine life. Up to nine out of every ten species along the South West coast are found only in this area. In the northwestern corner of the country, the Kimberley region remains one of the last large and healthy refuges for sharks, dolphins, turtles, whales and dugong (a large marine mammal).
Australia's abundant wilderness and water habitats are under threat. Too few people tend the land that makes up much of the country's extensive interior. Destructive wildfires and large numbers of feral animals, such as wild pigs and buffalo, further degrade the land. The impact of climate change also poses a serious challenge. Pollution, overfishing, destruction of important habitats and oil and gas development all threaten Australia's remarkable marine life.
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The 2014 World Parks Congress in Sydney has concluded by setting a high bar for ocean protection and resolving to secure almost a third of the world’s waters in marine sanctuaries by 2030. Read More
Western Australia, the nation’s largest state, contains the biggest expanse of Outback, and has a number of pastoral leases. In June 2015, all of the state’s pastoral leases expire, and the government has committed to a review. Read More