Carnarvon xeric shrublands


A large coastal ecoregion sandwiched between the West Australian Shield and Indian Ocean coasts and islands.



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83,534 km²

UNESCO World Heritage Sites​


Background – CC Attribution Share Alike 4.0 International – TerryT2, 2006 / Map – CC Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported – Hesperian, 2007

Help your Ecoregion
So what can you do to help your ecoregion? Below is a list to help you support your ecoregion, while also achieving life's everyday tasks. Don’t underestimate your power in doing good for nature!


Food and Homeware: Ningaloo Bulk Foods


Holidays: Exmouth Adventure Co

At Home
Below is a list of actions you can easily take at home to minimise your impact on the ecoregion in which you live, and the rest of the planet too!
In your Garden
Below is a list of native plants and habitat creation tips you can use in your garden or on your property to give your ecoregion and its species a boost!


Plant a range of characteristic trees from the local area such as Native Poplar (Codonocarpus cotinifolius), Desert Kurrajong (Brachychiton gregorii), Desert Fig (Ficus platypoda) and Eucalyptus xerothermica. To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating hollows in old, dead tree limbs.


Plant native sub-canopy acacias like the Bowgada Wattle (Acacia ramulosa), Acacia startii, Two-nerved Wattle (Acacia bivenosa) and Limestone Wattle (Acacia sclerosperma). To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating tree hollows in old, dead tree limbs.


Plant native shrubs such as the endemic Cape Range Grevillea (Grevillea variifolia), Ashby's Banksia (Banksia ashbyi), Rough Bluebell (Trichodesma zeylanicum), Green Birdflower (Crotalaria cunninghamii) and the beatiful Pinyuru (Eremophila cuneifolia). These species are great for creating dense shrubby refugia and provide plenty of nectar for birds and mammals. To create habitat, consider installing insect hotels, compost-heaps and bird-baths in this layer.


Plant colourful natives such as Purple-mouth (Dipteracanthus australasicus), Tassel-top (Ptilotus clementii), Gascoyne Mulla Mulla (Ptilotus helipteroides) and Crinkled Heliotrope (Heliotropium crispatum). To create habitat, consider installing a pond or bog-garden with native aquatic and riparian plants, log-piles for sheltering amphibians and reptiles and leave areas of leaf-litter for important insects.


This ecoregion is world-renowned for the ancient heritage of Shark Bay and the Ningaloo Coast, but there is much more to discover than the coastal fringes. The area’s vegetation is bounded by the Indian Ocean and kept warm throughout the year, with inland mountain ranges creating rainfall. Shrublands of acacias, lead through low coastal heaths and grasslands to areas of coastal mangroves and important fish nurseries. The wildlife of the area is rich, especially when it comes to birds and reptiles with hundreds of species observed in the area. The area is the subject of much scientific study and increasing ecotourism, especially along the coast and at Cape Range.

Ecoregion Structure
The structure of the ecoregion is defined as the key living and non-living features characterising its ecosystems, and the differences between how these ecosystems are arranged. For example, layers of vegetation, geology, habitat features and landscapes.


Alluvial, aeolian and marine sedimentary rocks over cretaceous strata



Iconic Landscapes

Native plant communities

Scenes by @blueringmedia
Ecoregion Composition
The composition of the ecoregion is defined as the biodiversity that inhabits its ecosystems, and the differences between this biodiversity. For example, communities, populations, species, subspecies and genetic traits.
Keystone Species​
Keystone species are those that have a disproportionately large effect on the ecosystems in which they live, relative to their natural abundance there. In other words, species with a really important role in the health of ecosystems.
Flagship Species
Flagship species are those that are chosen by people to represent a wider conservation message, usually for a given place or social context, and as such often carry conservation messages for wider biodiversity.
Recently Extinct Species
All around the world, biodiversity is declining at a concerning rate. For some species it's already too late, and they have disappeared from the ecoregions they once called home. These are some examples of those lost species.

Lord Howe Fantail
(Rhipidura cervina)

Lord Howe Thrush
(Turdus vinitinctus)

Ecoregion Function
The function of the ecoregion is defined as how its structural and compositional components all work together to form ecological relationships and processes which change over time through geological shifts and evolution by natural selection.

Keystone Relationships

Patches of brightly-coloured flowers like mulla mullas are important beacons of nectar for passing insects. Many are pigmented with shades that insects can easily see such as purple and pink, and act as advertisements for much-needed sugary fuel!

Life-support Systems​

Biodiversity is fundamental to a healthy planet and thriving communities, but the world's species are under tremendous threat.