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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Twenty-eight of Australia’s endemic land mammal species have become extinct in the past 200 years, according to the first comprehensive review of conservation of Australia’s mammal fauna. With the worst rate of mammal extinction in the world, Australia on average has lost one or two such species in each decade since the 1840s. Read More
On May 7, the Karajarri Traditional Owners and the Australian government created Karajarri country. A 2.4 million hectare area crossing into coastal shrublands and encompassing the newly-created Eighty Mile Beach section of the Great Kimberley Marine Park. Read More
A controversial plan by the New South Wales government to allow recreational fishing in marine sanctuary areas could undermine decades of progress that protected the state's most important underwater areas and unique species, and provided well-documented economic benefits. Read More