What Is An Endemic Species?

A global biodiversity hotspot, the Great Southern Reef is home to many species found nowhere else on the planet

Unique species of the GSR

Australia's Great Southern Reef (known as the 'GSR') is home to thousands of unique marine species that are found nowhere else on earth - and scientists believe that there are still tens of thousands yet to be found and studied.

Let's take a peek at just a few...

Australian Sea Lion

Meet one of the rarest animals in the world.

Weedy Seadragon

A charismatic creature, the weedy seadragon's appendages resemble the kelp fronds found in their habitat.

Port Jackson Shark

The Port Jackson shark is a nocturnal, bottom dwelling ‘bullhead’ shark endemic to the Great Southern Reef 

Annual migration

These sharks will congregate in large numbers in shallow waters in late springtime to mate. Males arrive first in harbours and bays and females usually arrive weeks later. 

Mating involves biting, with the male grasping the pectoral fin, dorsal fin or flank of the female 

Blue Groper

The GSR supports both eastern and western blue groper. The separation of the two species can be traced back to the Ice Age, when waters became cooler and the blue groper population likely split and moved up the west and east coasts. 

Female first

These gropers are what is known as a protogynous hermaphrodite, meaning the entire species begins life as a female and some, but not all, change sex to males later in life. 

Sheriffs of the Reef

Considered a keystone species, blue gropers are an important part of the marine ecosystem. 

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