Luxury apartment accommodation
Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Flora & Fauna
The legacy of geographic isolation is a richly diverse ecosystem of birds, native animals and flora – thirty per cent of the island is now protected as conservation and national parks and five significant Wilderness Protection Areas are retained. This remnant vegetation supports a large population of wildlife and is the reason why Kangaroo Island is, arguably, Australia’s best place to see wildlife in a natural habitat.
Kangaroo Island was separated from the mainland around 9 – 10,000 years ago. Following a natural selection or “survival of the fittest” process, some animals have evolved differently from their mainland species. This is evident in the Kangaroo Island Kangaroo, a sub species of the Western Grey Kangaroo, which is smaller, darker and has longer fur than its mainland counterpart.
The absence of foxes, dingoes and rabbits ensures the integrity of this uncleared bushland. Many of the roadsides exemplify a dense understorey of intact, thick eucalypt scrub and smaller herbaceous plants. The Sunday Times (UK) said, “Free of feral pests, the wildlife on KI has thrived. Koalas really do inhabit the trees, wallabies and kangaroos are everywhere, echidnas do amble out of the forests…” Echidnas are an unusual egg-laying mammal that digs for ants and termites. Heath Goannas are reptiles of up to one metre in length and predators of smaller reptiles, young birds and eggs. They can often be seen on warm days basking or scavenging on dead animals along the roadsides.
Kangaroo Island is a paradise for bird-watchers, with a diverse range of habitats to explore. From the wild coastline of cliffs, beaches and estuaries, through coastal heath and mallee, to river and creek systems, wetlands and lagoons, many of the island’s 267 recorded birds can be seen. A delight is the little blue wren, vastly different to the huge sea hawks.