Icons of Our Region
Western Ringtail Possum, Pseudocheirus occidentalis
ID Dark grey above with cream or grey underparts. Tail slender, strongly prehensile with terminal white quarter to half length. Short rounded ears.
Habitat Mostly coastal peppermint and riparian vegetation.
Behaviour Nocturnal. Shelters in dreys (nest like) in tree canopies or tree hollows
Distribution Only in SW WA, most populations restricted to coastal peppermint.
Brush-tailed Phascogale, Phascogale tapoatafa tapoatafa
ID Carnivorous marsupial. Small and squirrel like. Pointed snout, black “bottle-brush’ tail. Grey upside with cream to white underside.
Habitat Dry leafy forest and open woodland.
Diet Opportunistic feeders. Primary insectivores. Diet includes invertebrates, nectar, small birds and small mammals.
Behaviour Strongly arboreal. Nocturnal. Nest sites include hollow tree limbs, rotten stumps and birds nests. Mates for a 3 week period between May and July, males then die.
Distribution SW WA and SE Australia
Status Near threatened.
Black-gloved Wallabies, Macropus irma
ID Pale to mid grey, white facial stripe, black and white ears, black hands and feet. Lond tail with crest of black hair towards end.
Habitat Open forest and woodland, seasonally wet flats with low grasses and open scrubby thickets. Some areas of mallee and heathland.
Diet Grazes on grass, herbs and shrubs including couch, pigface and Christmas tree.
Behaviour More active in early morning and late afternoon, resting in hotter part of day.
Distribution Only found in SW WA, uncommon throughout its range.
Status Near threatened
Water rat, Hydromys chrysogaster
ID Native, aquatic rodent. Thick black to dark grey fur, cream to orange underneath. Thick tail covered with dark hair with white tip. Rounded muzzle with many whiskers. Short rounded wars and nostrils set high on head. Back feet are webbed.
Habitat In vicinity of permanent water, fresh, brackish or marine.
Diet Aquatic invertebrates, mussels, fish, frogs, small birds.
Behaviour Mostly nocturnal. Brings food to feeding platform to be eaten, leaving a midden. Forages in water or adjacent vegetation. Nests in logs or tunnels dug in banks.
Distribution Widespread in aquatic environments of Australia and SW WA.
Honey Possum, Tarsipes rostratus
ID Small, mouse size possum. Long pointed nose, round ears, eyes closer to top of head and a very long tail, not curled. Grey brown with 3 darker stripes. Cream underneath.
Habitat Banksia woodlands, coastal heath. Needs high diversity of shrubs to provide year round nectar.
Diet Nectar and pollen: banksias, dryandras, grevilleas and hakeas, eucalypts, bottlebrushes, melaleucas, calothamnus.
Behaviour Mostly nocturnal. Arboreal and terrestrial. Agile and fast moving, darts between blossoms. Shelters in tree hollows, birds nests, balga skirts or other cranny. Becomes torpid in cold weather.
Distribution Only SW WA.
Status Locally common
Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus banksii naso
ID Male has bulky black crest overhanging heavy bill; unbarred scarlet panels in tail. Female is spotted and edged yellow; tail deep orange with touch of red, barred black.
Distribution naso subspecies restricted to SW corner
Baudin’s Black-Cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus baudinii
ID Long tail with obvious white panel
Habitat forest, woodland, farm trees
Diet Feeds mainly on marri seeds, strips bark from dead trees in search of wood-boring insects.
Distribution SW WA; more southerly distribution than similar Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo
Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus latirostris
ID Closely related to Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo. Long tail with obvious white panel.
Habitat Forest, woodland, heath, farms
Diet feeds on Banksias, hakeas and dryandras – often on ground; also exploits pine plantations
Distribution SW WA
Hooded Plover, Thinornis rubricollis tregellasi
ID Small plover with black hood and bars that disrupt shape
Habitat sandy beaches of ocean, estuaries, coastal lakes and inland salt lakes
Behaviour nest directly on the sand above the high tide line. Their simple nest scrapes and camouflaged eggs make them extremely vulnerable to being stepped on and crushed. Chicks cannot fly until five weeks old and are therefore easy prey to people, dogs or 4wd vehicles. On top of this they have a naturally low breeding success rate.
Distribution Endemic to Australia; SW WA is a separate population to those found along south coast, SE NSW and Tasmania
Status Near threatened
White Bellied Frog, Geocrinia alba
ID A very small (up to 2.4cm), light brown or grey frog often with dark spots. White-pale yellow underside.
Habitat Dense wetland and riparian vegetation.
Distribution Highly restricted distribution around Karridale-Witchcliffe area.
Status Critically endangered
Balston’s Pygmy Perch, Nannatherina balstoni
Distribution Restricted to freshwater drainages near the coastline from Margaret River to Two Peoples Bay, Albany.
Pouched Lamprey, Geotria australis
Behaviour Most of the anadromous life cycle is spent at sea as an external parasite on fish. It enters freshwater rivers and moves upstream during winter and spring with up to 18 months spent in freshwater before they reach sexual maturity. Lampreys die shortly following spawning. The larvae are eyeless and live buried in sandy stream sediments for up to four years. Metamorphosis into juvenile form is followed by a downstream migration to the sea to repeat the cycle.
Distribution Widespread throughout SW and SE Australia.
Hairy marron, Cherax tenuimanus
ID distinguishable from the smooth marron by the presence of setae or hairs on the carapace
Habitat found in permanent pools found within forested reaches of river
Distribution restricted to upper Margaret River
Status: Critically endangered
Margaret River Burrowing Crayfish, Engaewa pseudoreducta
ID A small crayfish up to 50mm in length, the species has a pale to mid brown body with purplish blue claws. It has large claws adapted for digging.
Habitat Narrow creek tributaries of the Margaret River in areas of dense vegetation
Distribution Known from only two populations, found in swampy headwaters of a tributary of the Margaret River. Both population sites are isolated and subject to the threat of habitat loss within their restricted range.
Status Critically endangered
Karri, Eucalyptus diversicolor
ID Karri generally grows in single species stands, up to 30 or 40m in this area. It sheds its bark to reveal a patchwork of yellow, pink, orange and brown bark. Individuals can live for up to 300years.
Habitat Grows on nutrient poor soil called karri loam. Despite the paucity of nutrients it is generally a deep soil, due to the build-up of bark over many years.
Distribution This area is the north-westerly limit of the karri, the main part of its range is around Pemberton and Walpole where rainfall is higher and soils are deeper.
Marri, Corymbia calophylla
ID Easily recognised by its chunky, tessellated bark, frequently oozing resin (keno) and large characteristic ‘honky-nuts’.
Habitat Most widespread of our trees, growing in association with many other species and in a variety of situations. It prefers sandy soils and can reach 40m in height.
Distribution, Murchison River to the south coast east of Albany
Margaret River Spider Orchid, Caladenia citrina
Habitat grows mostly on laterite or granite soils in jarrah-marri forest and most commonly flowers after fire
Distribution Found only between Dunsborough and Forest Grove