Marine Parks WA
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Secrets About Marine Parks
- Humpback calves, which migrate through Marmion Marine Park off Perth's coast, are about the size of a small car when first born. They are about five metres long and weigh about 1.5 tonnes at birth. They can drink 240 litres of milk each day and gain 45 kilograms per day.
- Ningaloo Marine Park protects the largest fringing reef in the entire world – it is a whopping 300 kilometres long! Fringing reefs only have a shallow lagoon between the reef and the coast, which means that unlike the Great Barrier Reef you can snorkel to Ningaloo Reef from the shore.
- Australian sea lions, little penguins, snub fin dolphins, leafy seadragons and weedy seadragons are just a few of the marine animals found only in Australia and nowhere else in the world. If we don't look after them they will be gone for good!
- Jurien Bay Marine Park (about a 3 or 4 hour drive north of Perth) has the highest diversity or greatest number of seaweed species in Australia.
- Just on the doorstep of Rockingham is the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park where little penguins, Australian sea lions, bottlenose dolphins, WA seahorses and leafy seadragons all live in the same place. Now that's impressive!
- The Rowley Shoals Marine Park, a 14 hour boat trip west of Broome, protects one of the most pristine reef systems in the entire world and the most perfectly formed coral atolls in Australia.
- Shark Bay Marine Park has the world's largest population of dugongs (there are 13,000 of them in Shark Bay), the world's most extensive seagrass meadows and the largest number of seagrass species ever recorded in one place in the world.
- Blue whales are the largest animals on the planet! Even though they usually live in extremely deep waters, they are thought to breed in Geographe Bay in the Ngari Capes Marine Park. How cool is that!
- In early winter and spring, southern right whales often come very close to shore at Perth's Marmion Marine Park and Shoalwater Islands Marine Park at Rockingham. They have the largest penis of any animal in the world, which can reach 3 metres long, WOW!
- Coral bleaching caused by climate change has already killed many coral reefs around the world, even some on the Great Barrier Reef! Marine parks mean coral reefs are more likely to survive coral bleaching events by helping to protect them from other human impacts such as overfishing and pollution.
- New Zealand fur seals were completely wiped out from the western coast of Australia by sealers who killed them for their thick furry skins more than 150 years ago. Small numbers of them reappeared on a small rock near Dunsborough ( in the Ngari Capes Marine Park) about 15 years ago and they have since spread north to Rottnest Island and the Beagle Islands north of Jurien Bay Marine Park.
- The proposed Dampier Archipelago Marine Park has the highest number of marine plants and animals in Western Australia—as many as the Great Barrier Reef!
- Western Australia is home to six of the world's seven species of marine turtle including greens, loggerheads, hawksbills, flatbacks, olive ridley and leatherbacks. Turtles are found in all of our marine parks