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 found at Booderee is due to the park’s wide range of habitats: coastal cliffs and heaths, sandy beaches, rock platforms, mangroves, swamps, lakes, forests and the ocean.
More than 460 different native plants have been recorded at Booderee. Here are just some of the park’s many vibrant and colourful flowers.
Kangaroo tail (Xanthorrhoea australis) is 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 has become a popular addition to many Australian gardens.
This boronia has aromatic leaves and waxy flowers that range in colour from white to purple. It is quite common throughout New South Wales.
The waratah is the official floral emblem of the state of New South Wales. It is well known for its crimson coloured flowers, which bloom from September to November.
This shrub’s yellow flowers crowd in leafy spikes towards the ends of the branches.
The small leaves of this large shrub give off an aromatic perfume when bruised.
Many of our birds, including honeyeaters, love this shrub because its flowers are full of nectar.
You’ll find two types of mangrove around Booderee’s inlets and harbours: grey mangrove and river mangrove.
This is one of the original banksias collected by botanist Sir Joseph Banks when he travelled to Australia with Captain James Cook in 1770. Its distinctive orange and red flowers contrast with its green, heath-like leaves.
You’ll see lots of 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 our most popular activities – head to the Cape St George Lighthouse for the best view.
This special eagle is the guardian of the Koori people of Wreck Bay and features on the Booderee National Park logo.
It 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 pale 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 long red bill and bright red eyes.
Shearwaters are one of the world’s most remarkable migratory birds. Every year they travel more than 15,000 kilometres, crossing the western Pacific Ocean to the Arctic region and back again.
Sometimes known as muttonbirds, they are the most abundant Australian seabird, with around 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 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 burrowing animal. 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 monotremes, or egg-laying mammals.
Wallabies look like small kangaroos but are generally solitary animals. They occasionally come together to feed or mate.
Sharing the waters of our park are these magnificent seals. The largest type of seal in Australia, fur seals have large eyes, a pointed face with whiskers and sharp teeth. The males are larger than the females and have a mane of coarse dark hair when mature.
The humpback whale is one of the most easily recognisable large whales. The first sign of its presence is often 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 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 the well-developed crest that runs down its spine.
Like other dragons it is very quick, and sometimes runs on its hind legs in an almost upright position when pursued. It can swim, but rarely enters the water.