Plants and animals

Plants

Thanks to the vast range of habitats in the Jervis Bay Territory over 460 native plants have been recorded. A number of plant species in the park have significant conservation status and warrant special protection because of their rarity. These species are protected under various inventories and schedules.

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Forest

Forest communities in the park are dominated by blackbutt Eucalyptus pilularis and southern mahogany E. botryoides, with a wide variety of native shrubs, ferns and grasses. Relic rainforest communities, which are generally found in wet gullies within forest communities, are dominated by hard corkwood Endiandra sieberi and lilly pilly Acmena smithii. Native poplar Omolanthus populifolius, blueberry ash Elaeocarpus reticulatus, bastard rosewood Synoum glandulosum and cabbage tree palm Livistona australis also occur. Ferns and creepers are common ground cover species in the rainforest gullies.

Woodland

Woodland communities in the park are dominated by silvertop ash E. sieberi and bloodwood E. gummifera. Woodland understories are composed mainly of heath banksia Banksia ericifolia and old man banksia B. serrata and the grass tree Xanthorrhea australis also occurs.

Heath

Common heath species occurring in the park include B. ericifolia, dagger hakea Hakea teritifolia, Manuka Leptospermum scoparium, Xanthorrhea resinosa and Allocasuarina distyla. Coastal scrub communities are dominated by coastal tea tree L. laevigatum. Sporobolus virginicus, Stipa sp. and Zoysia macrantha dominate grassland communities on Bowen Island.

Marine

The seagrass beds in Booderee contain three genera: Posidonia, Zostera and Halophila. Due to the clarity of the water some marine species are found at much greater depths than usual.

Mangroves

The region has approximately thirty saltmarsh species. There are two species of mangrove in the park: grey mangrove Avicennia marina and river mangrove Aegiceras corniculatum. Subtidal and intertidal platforms support a diversity of rocky reef algae with Hormosira, Ecklonia, Sargassum, Phyllospora and Cystophora being the dominant genera.

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.

Many of the 200 species of birds are residents, while others are travellers passing through and some are of special significance to the traditional owners of the park.

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Birds

The wide range of habitats in Booderee provide homes for over 200 species of birds. The best time to see birds is early in the morning. Being quiet and patient is the key to success - you may well hear a bird before you see it. Download the Booderee birds app from the iTunes store for your bird watching guide. Download now - (iPhone app - 52.6MB)

For more information on bird species found at Booderee, visit our birdwatching page.

Mammals and reptiles

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. Find out more on our tourism site .

Whales

Booderee National Park provides fabulous opportunities for whale watching. The best location is at the historic Cape St George Lighthouse at the end of Stoney Creek Road.

Humpback and southern right whales begin their northerly migration in early June and continue to the first week in July. They are heading to their breeding grounds in the warmer Queensland waters.

Find out more about our visiting whales and how to spot them on our visitor website.