Vertebrates of Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area

Moss froglet
Moss froglet
The WHA supports 75% (187 species) of Tasmania's terrestrial vertebrate fauna. This comprises 30 species of terrestrial mammal (90.0% of total Tasmanian species) including five Tasmanian endemics, 120 species of terrestrial bird (75% of state total) including 10 endemics, 14 species of reptile (67% of state total) including seven endemics, seven species of frog (64% of state total) including three endemics, and 16 species of freshwater fish (64% of state total) including four endemics. The WHA also supports 68 species of marine fish (14% of state total) including one endemic species.

A number of vertebrate species are entirely restricted to the WHA (Moss froglet, Pedra Branca skink, Mountain skink, Pedder galaxias, Swamp galaxias and Western paragalaxias), while the migratory Orange-Bellied parrot breeds only within the WHA. A number of other species have the majority of their Tasmanian range within the WHA (Broad-toothed rat, Ground parrot, Southern emu-wren, Tasmanian tree frog, Northern snow skink, Southern snow skink, Clarence galaxias and the Maugean skate).

The WHA also supports 24 species of threatened vertebrates, including four threatened species of mammal (two terrestrial, two marine), 13 species of bird (nine terrestrial, four marine), 1 species of skink, and five species of freshwater fish including one of Australia's most threatened species, the Pedder galaxias. Of the 44 species of introduced vertebrates which have established feral populations in Tasmania, only seven species (16% of state total) have a significant presence within the WHA and pose a potential threat to the area's integrity. The diversity and endemism of the vertebrate fauna of the WHA reflects the Gondwanan origins of much of the fauna of western Tasmania, the repeated glaciation of the area during the Pleistocene, and subsequent pulses of speciation among certain taxa.

Please see the list of native, extant and regularly occurring vertebrates recorded from the WHA below:


  WHA Vertebrates   (38Kb)


Further Reading

Driessen, M. M. and Mallick, S. A. (2003). The vertebrate and invertebrate fauna of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Pacific Conservation Biology 9, 187-206.


WHA Zoologist

Michael Driessen
134 Macquarie Street,
Hobart, TAS, 7000.
Fax: 03 6233 3477