Sea what you’re missing – Biodiversity Month

Turquoise waters and an abundance of wildlife, biodiverse intertidal reefs and seagrass meadows teeming with various species… What a spectacular asset at our doorstep!

The Northern Agricultural Region is home to many plant and animal species in and out of the water. Picture: Philippa Schmucker.

The Northern Agricultural Region is home to many plant and animal species in and out of the water. Picture: Philippa Schmucker.

The Northern Agricultural Region (NAR) is very fortunate to be called home to two of Australia’s 15 biodiversity hotspots. However, as we move from the land to the sea, you would be surprised to find the amazing biodiversity under the sea.
Some particularly popular locations include the Houtman Abrolhos islands, where charismatic dolphins, sea lions and seabirds are often be found.

But the Northern Agricultural Region is also home to many undiscovered underwater gems. As Leeuwin current flows southward, it brings warm water from the north, whilst the northward flowing Capes Current brings cold, nutrient rich water up from the south.

This mixing of currents forms a unique marine environment just off our coastline, where both tropical and temperate marine species can be found.

If you are keen to see for yourself, we would encourage you to snorkel the sheltered island waters around Jurien Bay.  The islands are so diverse, have high conservation values and are so accessible that they are just waiting to be explored!

Escape, Favourite, Whitlock and Boullanger Islands are not far from the mainland and can be reached by a small dinghy or kayak on a good day.

There are 13 Class A Nature Reserves on the Turquoise Coast, covering approximately 40 islands, islets and rocks, all with the purpose of ‘Conservation of Flora and Fauna’.

The Endangered dibbler Parantechinus apicalis can be found on two of the islands. Inquisitive Bridled Terns, graceful White-bellied Sea-Eagles, gliding Stingrays and the vulnerable Fairy Tern can all be found on the islands also. This coast holds some priceless experiences just waiting for people to explore.  The islands are open from sunup to sundown and they will always enjoy the patronage of respectful visitors.

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