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Our Wildlife

The South West of WA is known as a biodiversity hotspot not only in flora but in fauna as well. Unfortunately the introduction of feral cats, foxes, rabbits and pigs into Australia has had a profound effect on fauna species, leading to local extinctions or a decline in numbers of many of our species. For this reason, the National Parks throughout the Pemberton area and the SW are baited several times a year with 1080 poison as part of the Department of Environment and Conservation’s “Western Shield” project.

The 1080 poison is identical to the compound found in Gastrolobium (poison peas) throughout the South West and the native animals have evolved a tolerance to the poison. The Western Shield program has significantly reduced the numbers of foxes in our National Parks leading to some fauna populations successfully increasing and having their Threatened Species list status changed or removed.

The varied forest types and waterways around the Pemberton-Northcliffe area provide habitat for a diverse range of wildlife. At night, watch for nocturnal mammals such as:

  • Quokkas,

  • Brushtail Possums,

  • Western Ringtail Possums,

  • Western Pygmy Possums,

  • Brush-tailed Phascogales,

  • Mardos (Yellow-footed Antechinus),

  • Quendas (Southern Brown Bandicoots),

  • Bush Rats,

  • Water Rats,

  • Western Grey Kangaroos

  • 9 species of insectivorous micro-bats.

  • Tawny Frogmouths,

  • Southern Boobook Owls,

  • Barn Owls

  • Owlet-nightjars


Over 130 species of birds call this area home, some of which are endemic to the south west of WA:

  • Western Rosellas,

  • Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo,

  • Baudin’s Black-cockatoo,

  • Red-capped Parrot,

  • Red-winged Fairy-wren,

  • Splendid Wren

  • Western Thornbill,

  • Western Wattlebird,

  • Western Spinebill,

  • Red-eared Firetail

  • White-breasted Robin.

Several of our forest and coastal birds are listed as Threatened Species.

During warmer months a huge variety of invertebrates can be easily found. Our reptiles also become active during warm temperatures:

  • Southern Heath Monitors,

  • Bobtail Lizards,

  • geckoes,

  • skinks,

  • Long-necked Turtles,

  • Tiger Snakes

  • Dugites


Although Tiger Snakes and Dugites are both considered venomous, both have receptors designed to detect small mammals and frogs as prey and so will generally avoid contact with large creatures like humans!


In Pemberton 10 species of frogs can be found and the Northcliffe/Windy Harbour area is home to 12 frog species:

  • Motorbike Frogs,

  • Slender Tree Frogs,

  • Moaning Frogs,

  • Sand Frogs,

  • Banjo Frogs,

  • Bleating Frogs,

  • Glauerts Froglets,

  • Quacking Frogs,

  • Karri (Roseate) Frogs,

  • Lea’s Frogs,

  • Nicholls Toadlets 

  • Guenther’s Toadlets


Many of our frogs will breed during our highest rainfall months in winter/spring into early summer, others breed when we get our first autumn rains, Nicholls Toadlets breed in summer, so frogs can generally be found throughout the year.

In our waterways and winter-wet swamps we find:

  • Coonacs,

  • Gilgies,

  • Marron,

  • Night Fish,

  • Balstons Pygmy Perch,

  • Western Pygmy Perch,

  • Freshwater Cobbler,

  • Galaxia minnows,

  • Salamanderfish,

  • Fresh-water Mussels

  • Lampreys.


Introduced fish include:

  • Rainbow Trout,

  • Brown Trout

  • Redfin Perch.


From our coastline, look for Southern Right and Humpback Whales during May to September; also Bottlenose Dolphins, NZ Fur Seals and sea birds.

During autumn we have schools of WA Salmon making their annual migration to our waters from the Great Australian Bight.

Editorial by Wendy Eiby

Apps you may be interested in: Field Guide to Western Australian Fauna

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