Faure Island Wildlife Sanctuary has three major landforms that are characterised by distinctive vegetation:
- 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
Seven separate vegetation communities are known from the island.
Faure Island is an emergent portion of the ‘Faure Sill’, a sandbar overlaying sandstone that crosses the eastern gulf of Shark Bay from Peron Peninsula to the mainland. Interestingly, it is this sandbar that has created the vast areas of sandy hypersaline shallows that support the famous Stromatolites of Shark Bay.
The flora is a subset of that found on the mainland at nearby Peron Peninsula. It is predominantly an arid zone flora, intermingled with more temperate species due to the location of the Shark Bay region on a major transitional zone between the Eremean (or arid zone) and southwest botanical provinces. A vegetation survey undertaken in 2000 revealed over 135 native species of vascular plants. Many more species are expected to be recorded on the island after significant rainfall and with additional surveys.
The coastal component of the vegetation is dominated by extensive mangrove communities, adjacent to beaches and coastal dune systems. These mangrove communities are uncommon in Shark Bay and support unusually large rookeries of Pied Cormorants.