On the edge of the Australian continent where the far west coast meets the sea is the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. This westernmost part of Australia has a unique combination of wildlife, flora and stunning scenery unlike that found anywhere else. Shark Bay’s sheltered coves and lush seagrass beds are a haven for marine species, including Green Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle and one of the world’s most significant and secure strongholds for the protection of Dugong, with a population of around 11,000. Increasing numbers of Humpback Whales and Southern Right Whales use Shark Bay as a migratory staging post, and a famous population of Bottlenose Dolphin lives in the Bay. Large numbers of sharks and rays are readily observed, including the Manta Ray which is now considered globally threatened.The area contains either the only or major populations of five globally threatened mammals, including the Burrowing Bettong, Rufous Hare Wallaby, Banded Hare Wallaby, the Shark Bay Mouse and the Western Barred Bandicoot. Along with the largest and richest sea-grass beds in the world and it’s 4 billion year old stromatolites – the oldest life forms on earth, it truly is one of the world’s greatest wilderness treasures.
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