Faure Island Sanctuary - Ecosystems / Plants
Faure Island Sanctuary
The ecosystems of the Faure Island Sanctuary are associated with the three major landforms present:
- The littoral zone consisting of mangroves, beaches, and coastal dunes
- Birridas (or claypans) and saline flats of samphires and saltbush
- Undulating sandplains supporting wattle shrublands
Nine separate vegetation communities occur within these broad units. Acacia shrublands are the most visible component of the vegetation of the island, but areas of mallee, spinifex (Triodia), and extensive areas of saltbush surrounding birridas (or claypans) are also dominant. The coastal zone supports large areas of spinifex, mudflats, samphire, and mangroves. The mangrove communities are uncommon in the Shark Bay region and support unusually large rookeries of Pied Cormorants.
The flora of the Faure Island Sanctuary is a subset of that found on the nearby mainland on Peron Peninsula, dominated by arid zone species and intermingled with more temperate species due to the location of Shark Bay on a major zone of transition between the arid and southern bioregions. Over 135 species of native vascular plants have been found and many more species are expected to be recorded on the island after significant rainfall. A field herbarium is being been established, providing a valuable reference for staff, researchers, students and visitors to Faure Island.