Checklist of the Terrestrial Vertebrate Fauna of Western Australia

Departmental resources | Updated 4 months ago

Taxonomic checklist of the terrestrial vertebrate fauna for Western Australia.

Download the latest version of the WA Checklist (2019) (updated Oct 2019; 329 kb) for the terrestrial vertebrate fauna of Western Australia. This handy excel sheet can be modified to suit your needs or imported into other applications. Use the 'SORT' column to restore the list into taxonomic order. The file is a single excel workbook, with separate sheets for amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. A written version of the Checklist of Birds of WA 2019 is available to download as a pdf (523 kb). For the first time we are also including a separate Checklist of the Birds of the Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands (350 kb). Please consider the environment before printing.

The changes from the 2019 April checklist (70 kb) are documented below and can also be downloaded in pdf format. Previous changes to the checklist (2012-2018) can be found in the documents at the bottom of the page.

A comprehensive update of the WA Checklist is released by the WA Museum every year or as necessary. The WA checklist (2019) contains revisions of the terrestrial vertebrate species of Western Australia and additional information on the conservation status of the WA fauna (provided by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions). 

The taxonomic changes are based on the work of the WA Museum's Terrestrial Zoology staff, and their many colleagues from around Australia and beyond. In the future, we will try to update the list as new taxonomic changes occur.

Bookmark this page, and keep visiting for the latest updated version.

Please contact the relevant author of the specific list if you have any questions or comments.


Changes from the WA Museum Checklist from April 2019 (updated October 2019)

Reptiles and Frogs

Revision of Diporiphora dragons from the Australian monsoonal tropics. A taxonomic revision by Melville et al. (2019) based on genetic and morphological comparisons resulted in several name changes for Western Australian Diporiphora species from the Kimberley, and extending into the Northern Territory and Queensland. These include:

  • Synonomy of D. bennettii arnhemica with D. albilabris sobria; and the latter raised to full species.
  • Diporiphora albilabris albilabris raised to full species.
  • Resurrection of D. margaretae to full species (formerly in synonomy with D. magna).
  • Description of D. perplexa from the Kimberley and western Top End. This widespread species was formerly attributed to D. bennettii, but the latter species is a short-tailed north-west Kimberley endemic.
  • Description of D. pallida and D. gracilis. The former is only known from a single specimen from the Mitchell Plateau, whereas the latter occurs in a small area of the south-west Kimberley.
  • Two other species from the D. bilineata species group were also described: D. granulifera from the Top End and D. carpentariensis from Queensland.

After the revision, Western Australia is home to 19 species of Diporiphora, nearly as many as the diverse genus Ctenophorus with 25 species.

Melville, J., Smith Date, K.L., Horner, P. and Doughty, P. (2019). Taxonomic revision of dragon lizards in the genus Diporiphora (Reptilia: Agamidae) from the Australian monsoonal tropics. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 78: 23–55.

Removal of bobtail subspecies. The scincid subspecies Tilqua rugosa aspera (Gray, 1845) has been removed from the WA list, as this taxon does not occur in the state based on the genetic results of Ansari et al. (2019). This leaves the nominate form (T. r. rugosa) and the Shark Bay (T. r. palarra Shea, 2000) and Rottnest Island forms (T. r. konowi [Mertens, 1958]) as the three subspecies in WA.

Ansari et al. (2019). Plio-Pleistocene diversification and biogeographic barriers in southern Australia reflected in the phylogeography of a widespread and common lizard species. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 133: 107–119.




WA State checklist

Amsterdam Albatross Diomedea amsterdamensis is now treated as a full species.

Cook’s Petrel Pterodroma cookii added.

Cory’s Shearwater Calonectris borealis added.

Spelling of genus for Tawny-crowned Honeyeater emended from Glyciphila to Gliciphila.

Eurasian Teal Anas crecca added.

Following Alström et al. 2018

  • Little Grassbird Megalurus gramineus and Spinifexbird Eremiornis carteri now placed in Poodytes
  • Middendorff’s Grasshopper Warbler Locustella ochotensis, Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler Locustella certhiola and Gray’s Warbler Locustella fascilata now placed in Helopsaltes.
  • Rufous Songlark Megalurus mathewsi, Brown Songlark Megalurus cruralis and Tawny Grassbird Megalurus timoriensis revert to Cincloramphus.


Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) islands checklist

Eurasian Teal Anas crecca crecca raised to full species.

Little Stint Calidris minuta added (based on photographs).

Australian Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica macrotarsa added (based on photographs).

Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler Locustella certhiola is now placed in Helopsaltes.



No changes.


WA-Checklist-Terrestrial-Vertebrates-Oct 2019.xlsx329.08 KB
2019, October, FINAL updated changes.pdf70.6 KB
Checklist of Birds of WA - October 2019.pdf523.05 KB
Checklist of Birds of Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) islands - October 2019.pdf350.24 KB
WA-Checklist-Terrestrial-Vertebrates- April 2019.xlsx296.41 KB
2019, updated changes.pdf128.36 KB
Checklist of Birds of WA - April 2019.pdf503.51 KB
Checklist of Birds of Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) islands - April 2019.pdf547.3 KB
WA-Checklist-Terrestrial-Vertebrates- 10 September 2018.xlsx276.91 KB
Changes-to-the-WAMuseum-Checklist-Sept-2018.pdf202.33 KB
Checklist of Birds of WA - September 2018.pdf502.12 KB
Checklist of Birds of Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) islands - September 2018.pdf547.35 KB
WA-Checklist-Terrestrial-Vertebrates- 16 April 2018.xlsx295.67 KB
Changes-to-the-WAMuseum-Checklist-Apr-2018.pdf124.98 KB
Checklist of Birds of WA - April 2018.pdf501.68 KB
Checklist of Birds of Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) islands - April 2018.pdf547.56 KB
WAMuseum-Checklist-Terrestrial-Vertebrates-11.10.2017.xlsx287.1 KB
Changes-to-the-WAMuseum-Checklist-Oct-2017.pdf88.33 KB
Checklist-of-Birds-of-Christmas-and-Cocos-(Keeling)-islands-August-2017.pdf543.24 KB
Checklist-of-Birds-of-WA-August-2017.pdf495.39 KB
Changes-to-WAMuseum-Checklist-August-2016.pdf178.49 KB
Changes to the WA Checklist 2015.pdf308.67 KB
Changes to the WA Checklist 2015b (Mammals).pdf92.46 KB
Changes to the WA Terrestrial Vertebrate checklist, 2012-2014.pdf155.16 KB