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Animals of the Murray–Darling Basin

Hundreds of species of wildlife live in the Murray–Darling Basin. The rivers and surrounding environments support many populations of fish, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects.

A healthy ecosystem is one that has many different native animal species, each with its own role to play in the ecosystem.

For example, carnivores keep other animals from becoming too numerous, while herbivores manage vegetation growth and recycle organic matter.

Native animals also provide an economic benefit to Basin communities by bringing tourists to the regions.

The Basin is home to:

  • 367 bird species (35 of which are endangered), including 98 species of waterbirds
  • 85 mammal species (20 of which are extinct, 16 endangered)
  • over 50 native fish species
  • 31 native frogs species
  • 46 snake species (5 endangered)
  • 100 lizard species (1 endangered)
  • 3 freshwater turtle species
  • 124 families of macroinvertebrates.

Wildlife of the Murray–Darling Basin

A wide variety of native animals live in the various ecosystems of the Basin, where they have adapted to the different environments, climates and food supplies.

Native animals found in the Murray–Darling Basin include:

  • eastern quolls (luaners)
  • eastern grey kangaroos
  • red kangaroos
  • platypus
  • sugar gliders
  • brush tailed rock wallabies
  • koalas
  • common ringtail possums
  • black flying foxes
  • short-headed echidnas
  • bare nosed wombats
  • swamp wallabies.
Updated: 24 Sep 2020