Perth is the capital of the Southwest Australia Ecoregion, one of only 34 internationally recognised Biodiversity Hotspots (Conservation International 2010). The World Wildlife Fund argues that Perth may be the wildlife capital of the world, with over 2,100 plant species, 15 amphibian species and 156 native birds , with seasonal influxes from visiting seabirds and migrating shorebirds (World Wildlife Fund 2013). Perth also has 71 reptile species and is believed to have more reptiles than any other urban area in the world, including the western swamp tortoise, which is WA’s most endangered reptile (World Wildlife Fund 2013). Perth’s wetlands directly or indirectly support most of its wildlife.

Wetlands are the most productive of all biological systems and support a heterogeneous range of wildlife, both aquatic and terrestrial (Jennings 1996). Mitsch and Gosselink describe wetland environments as “falling between the cracks of two disciplines” (Mitsch & Gosselink 2007). Wetlands are neither water nor earth but exist in the meeting of these two, changing seasonally to become more or less of each element, and blending the two elements to form mud. An estimated 10 % of Perth’s original wetlands remain. The loss of wetlands that began in 1829, and continues into the present day, is a deciding factor in Perth being able to retain its status as a biodiverse city.

Colour photograph of flower surrounded by greenery

White Spider Orchid Lower Swamp (Frog Swamp) North Lake Reserve 2014
Image copyright Holly Story 

Black swan and babies in the water

Black Swans (Cygnus atratus), Perth (WA), John Oldham Park, September 2006.
Image copyright 
H.-U. Küenle, Wikicommons

Black and white stilt on water

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus leucocephalus), Lake Joondalup, Perth, Western Australia, Australia, 2012.
Image copyright JJ Harrison, Wikicommons 

Picture of yellow orchids surrounded by greenery

Yellow Donkey Orchids, Lower Swamp (Frog Swamp) North Lake Reserve 2014.
Image copyright Holly Story