Australia Animals and Plants Part 1

By | June 21, 2021

Why do many plants only grow in Australia?

The Australian continent has developed independently for millions of years. The result is a great diversity of flora and fauna.

A total of around 22,000 plant species grow in Australia. A large part of it – around 85 percent – is actually only available here. In the case of the eucalyptus and acacia trees alone, we differentiate between 600 and 1000 different species. The eucalyptus tree grows very quickly, it is small and large and it can survive in the deserts of Australia. Many of Australia’s forests are made up of these two species of trees.

Three large areas of Australia

There is a lot of forest in southeast Australia, even rainforests. Although these rainforests are small in area, they are home to numerous different species. Altogether one distinguishes three large areas, whose climates are very different. Different plants grow here:

Tropical zone

The tropical zone you’ll find on the north coast. This extends to the middle of the east coast. The so-called monsoon climate prevails here: deciduous trees predominate. There are many rainforests on the Queensland coast in the northeast. Palm trees, fig trees, bamboo, various ferns, but also araucarias grow here. They are always green and can reach heights of up to 89 meters. Mangrove forests can be discovered on the north coast.

Temperate zone

In the temperate zone, which runs over the southeastern coastal plain and Tasmania and approaches the tropical zone again on the east coast towards the north, bush and forest landscapes predominate. Many different bushes grow. In the mountains of Australia and also on the island of Tasmania, the flora is similar to that of our Alps. Many pines and eucalyptus trees also grow here.

Dry zone

Many acacias grow in western and central Australia. There are a total of 600 species. The prickly head grass is found in central Australia. These are only found in Australia and they predominantly dominate the outbacks (the hinterland). About 20 percent of the entire continent is covered with it. Sometimes you also hear the term spinifex for prickly head grass. If you look at the grasses like that, you can understand why they are called that. They are also difficult to digest for animals and therefore do not serve as grass food for cattle, for example.

Why is Australia’s wildlife so unique?

Australia animals

A large proportion of the animals that live in Australia live only there. What applies to plants also applies to animals. Since Australia developed as an independent continent over millions of years and no exchange took place, the wildlife there is unique. The continent remained geologically stable, but was repeatedly subject to climate changes. There are animals in Australia that have hardly developed at all and that look and live as they did many millions of years ago. But humans have messed up the sensitive ecosystem by introducing animals that have no natural enemies there and now threaten the natural balance. Anyone taking a vacation in Australia can get to know Australia’s wildlife.

Australian animals: why are imported animals causing problems in Australia?

Some animals in Australia were introduced by the settlers, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. These “entered” representatives include hares, rabbits, but also foxes, donkeys, cattle, pigs and rats.

The dromedaries also cause considerable damage. As pack animals that can survive in the desert climate, they do render valuable services, but many now live in huge, wild herds, especially in the outback. There they destroy nature and eat the plants that no longer grow back.

A voracious toad poses a threat

A major problem is the cane toad, which has also been introduced into Australia’s wildlife and causes significant damage. Stopping their spread has proven very difficult. This toad is very poisonous, it becomes dangerous not only to small animals, but even to crocodiles.

It was actually introduced to stop a beetle that ate the sugar cane. Unfortunately, the toad is sleeping at the exact time the beetle is spreading. And if the toad wakes up, then the beetle is already up and away, but the toad is quite hungry. Animals such as lizards, turtles and rabbits feel this. Over 200 million such toads are now believed to live in Australia, a country in Oceania defined by itypejob.

Extinct animals of Australia: The ant bagler is almost extinct

But foxes and cats are also causing damage in Australia, because the ant colonies native to Australia were almost wiped out because of these hunters. Even the rabbits are harmful. Although they do not eat animals, they take away their vegetable food base from many native animals because they reproduce so rapidly.

Australia Animals