Vertebrates of Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area

Moss froglet
Moss froglet
The WHA supports 75% (187 species) of Tasmania's terrestrial vertebrate fauna. This comprises 30 species of terrestrial mammal (90.0% of total Tasmanian species) including three Tasmanian endemics, 120 species of terrestrial bird (75% of state total) including 10 endemics, 14 species of reptile (67% of state total) including seven endemics, seven species of frog (64% of state total) including three endemics, and 16 species of freshwater fish (64% of state total) including four endemics. The WHA also supports 68 species of marine fish (14% of state total) including one endemic species.

A number of vertebrate species are entirely restricted to the WHA (Moss froglet, Pedra Branca skink, Mountain skink, Lake Pedder galaxias, Swamp galaxias, Western paragalaxias and Bathurst Harbour skate), while the migratory Orange-Bellied parrot breeds only within the WHA. A number of other species have the majority of their Tasmanian range within the WHA (Broad-toothed rat, Ground parrot, Southern emu-wren, Tasmanian tree frog, Northern snow skink, Southern snow skink and the Clarence galaxias).

The WHA also supports 17 species of threatened vertebrates, including three threatened species of mammal (one terrestrial - the extinct Thylacine, and two marine), nine species of bird (six terrestrial, three marine), and five species of freshwater fish including one of Australia's most threatened species, the Lake Pedder galaxias. Of the 44 species of introduced vertebrates which have established feral populations in Tasmania, only seven species (16% of state total) have a significant presence within the WHA and pose a potential threat to the area's integrity. The diversity and endemism of the vertebrate fauna of the WHA reflects the Gondwanan origins of much of the fauna of western Tasmania, the repeated glaciation of the area during the Pleistocene, and subsequent pulses of speciation among certain taxa.

Please see the list of native, extant and regularly occurring vertebrates recorded from the WHA below:


  WHA Vertebrates   (38Kb)


Further Reading

Driessen, M. M. and Mallick, S. A. (2003). The vertebrate and invertebrate fauna of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Pacific Conservation Biology 9, 187-206.

Contact

WHA Zoologist
Michael Driessen
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 4316
Fax: 03 6233 3477
Email: Michael.Driessen@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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