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The world’s largest Island with 34,218 kilometers (21,262 mi) of coastline (excluding all offshore islands) Surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans, it is separated from Asia by the Arafura and Timor seas. Also the driest inhabited continent, although most of Australia is semi-arid or desert, it includes a diverse range of habitats from alpine heaths to tropical rainforests, and is recognised as a mega-diverse country.
Because of the continent's great age, extremely variable weather patterns, and long-term geographic isolation, much of Australia's ecology is unique and diverse. About 85% of flowering plants, 84% of mammals, more than 45% of birds, and 89% of in-shore, temperate-zone fish are endemic.
Australia has the greatest number of reptiles of any country, with 755 species. Among well-known Australian fauna are the monotremes (the platypus and echidna); a host of marsupials, including the kangaroo, koala, and wombat, and birds such as the emu and the kookaburra. Australia is home to many dangerous animals including some of the most venomous snakes in the world. The dingo was introduced by Austronesian people who traded with Indigenous Australians around 3000 BC. Many plant and animal species became extinct soon after first human settlement, including the Australian megafauna; others have disappeared since European settlement, among them the thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger).
Many of Australia's ecoregions, and the species within those regions, are threatened by human activities and introduced plant and animal species. The federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is the legal framework for the protection of threatened species. Numerous protected areas have been created under the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity to protect and preserve unique ecosystems.
Earthrace Conservation Australia
Eco Australia is totally committed to, and passionate about, the conservation and protection of all Australian marine and land animals, as well as the sustainability of critical habitat and the preservation of marine sanctuaries.
Presently building a strong team of Aussies to identify conservation issues, ECO Australia is harnessing the knowledge and expertise of its supporters and other organisations to provide the most effective action plans to protect our animals and marine ecosystems.
ECO Australia is currently working with Australians for Animals, Colin Riddell and Bob Irwin on a major campaign to help ensure that the dugongs of Australia continue to graze the sea grasses around the country's much admired and visited coastline without the threat of aboriginal hunting and poaching.