Plants and animals
Plants and animals
Booderee is home to over 200 species of birds and over thirty species of native mammals including ten species of bats, thirty-seven reptiles, seventeen amphibians and at least 180 species of fish.
The great diversity of species is thanks to the vast range of habitats found in the area – coastal cliffs and heaths, sandy beaches and rock platforms, mangroves and ocean, swamps, lakes and forests.
More than 460 different native plants have been recorded at Booderee. These are just some of the park’s many vibrant and colourful flowers.
Kangaroo tail is also known as Xanthorrhoea australis, a classic native Australian grass tree you’ll see at Booderee.
Eucalyptus summer red
This is a beautiful flowering gum tree with vibrant mid-pink to red flowers. It’s also become a popular addition to many Australian gardens.
This boronia has waxy flowers that range in colour from white to purple, with aromatic leaves. It is quite common throughout New South Wales, so you might see it inside the park and elsewhere.
The waratah is the official floral emblem of the state of New South Wales. It’s well known for its crimson coloured flowers which flower from September to November.
The yellow flowers of this shrub crowd in leafy spikes towards the ends of the branches.
The small leaves of this large shrub give off an aromatic perfume when bruised.
Our birds like honeyeaters love this shrub – its flowers are full of nectar.
You’ll find two types of mangrove in the park, grey mangrove and river mangrove – look around Booderee’s inlets and harbours.
This is one of the original banksias collected by botanist Sir Joseph Banks when he travelled to Australia with Captain James Cook in 1770. It is distinctive with its orange and red colours, contrasting with its green, heath-like leaves.
You’ll see lots of our native animals at Booderee – from breakfasting with the birds at Green Patch to catching a glimpse of a swamp wallaby while out walking. Whale-watching is one of the most popular activities to do at Booderee – for the best view head to the Cape St George Lighthouse
This is a special bird at Booderee as it is the guardian of the Koori people of Wreck Bay and features on the Booderee National Park logo. The spectacular eagle has a white head, rump and underparts, dark or slate-grey back and wings and an awe-inspiring wingspan of up to 2.2 metres.
Best known for its laughing cry, the kookaburra is an iconic Australian bird. It has a white head with a brown mask, a blade-like bill, brown wings with distinctive blue spots and a brown tail with paler brown to white stripes on the tail feathers.
New Holland honeyeater
This small, black and white streaked bird with a yellow wing patch is common in the park all year round.
The aptly named sooty oystercatcher is Australia’s only all black shorebird. It’s easy to spot with its all black body, long red bill and bright red eyes.
Photo by Oystercatcher
Shearwaters are one of the world’s most remarkable migratory birds. They travel more than 15,000 kilometres each year across the western Pacific Ocean, to the Arctic region and again back southwards through the Pacific Ocean. Sometimes known as muttonbirds, they are the most abundant Australian seabird, with about 23 million breeding in sites across south-eastern Australia each year.
The shearwaters you might see washed up on our beaches at Booderee, especially at Cave Beach, are the victims of the migration to breeding colonies, that takes place in September and October. This a natural phenomenon, where weaker birds are simply unable to survive the great distances they must fly to reach their breeding grounds.
This spiky anteater is a solitary animal that burrows. When attacked it curls itself into a ball using its spines as a method of defence. You might be surprised to learn that the only similar species is the platypus. Both are known as monotremes, mammals that lay eggs.
Wallabies look like small kangaroos but are generally solitary animals, occasionally brought together to feed or mate.
Sharing the waters of our park are these magnificent seals. The largest type of seal in Australia, they have large eyes, a pointed face with whiskers and sharp teeth. The males are larger than the females and when mature carry a dark mane of coarse hair.
The humpback whale is one of the most easily recognisable of the large whales. Often the first sign of its presence is its ‘blow’, a cloud of vapour that it shoots into the air when it breaks the surface to breathe.
The waters of Jervis Bay are home to a local population of these friendly, intelligent animals. They are very sociable creatures and communicate through a complex system of squeaks and whistles.
The jacky lizard or dragon is well known for its bright yellow mouth and well-developed crest that runs down its spine. Like other dragons it is very quick – so blink and you might miss them! It sometimes runs in an almost upright position on its hind legs when pursued. It rarely enters water, but does have the ability to swim.