Marion Downs Wildlife
Marion Downs is a 'hotspot' for the wildlife of the Kimberley and is home to :
- More than 30 species of mammals
- Over 180 bird species
- 20 frog species
- 75 reptile species
The property protects a high number of threatened species including the Northern Quoll, the Gouldian Finch, the Red Goshawk, the Crested Shrike-tit and the Purple-crowned Fairy-wren. Other iconic species include the Freshwater Crocodile, the Australian Bustard, the Antilopine Wallaroo and the Rock Ringtail Possum.
In addition, several of the animals present on Marion Downs are 'endemic' to the Kimberley – that is, they are found nowhere else in the world. These Kimberley endemics include the Ningbing Pseudantechinus, a tiny carnivorous marsupial, and the Silver-backed Butcherbird, whose haunting songs resonate around the red sandstone cliffs and gullies of Marion Downs.
Although the properties abut, Marion Downs contains a small number of species that do not occur on Mornington, such as the Chestnut-backed Button-quail and the Spectacled Hare-wallaby.
The Kimberley has been regarded as a safe refuge for the mammals and birds of northern Australia. However, there is now evidence that the Kimberley may soon be engulfed by the wave of fauna extinctions that is sweeping across the north. The conservation and active management of places like Marion Downs is essential if we are to provide a secure future for the wildlife of the Kimberley.