A coast to explore Coastal Habitat
Lapping waves, sandy beaches and sand dunes... this is the coastal zone of Rottnest Island.
Hear all about it!Rottnest’s coastal habitat is made up of the sandy beaches, sand dunes and limestone cliffs.
Limestone Cliffs are distinct in their structure and are made from sea shell particles and mainly quartz sand which were blown into sand dunes. These dunes then solidified and the original overlapping curved layers of the dunes can be clearly seen today in the solid limestone. Tamala limestone occurs over most of Rottnest and the oldest has been dated to 140,000 years old.
There are two types of sand dune. Mobile sand dunes that migrate across the land through the process of sand erosion and stationary dunes that start as mobile dunes but become stable as they move inland. Stationary sand dunes allow plants grow which further stabilises the dunes.
Blowouts are features which can be seen on Rottnest’s sand dunes. Blowouts are saucer-shaped sandy depressions which are caused by wind erosion. They tend to form when wind erodes into patches of exposed sand on dunes otherwise covered by plants. Blowouts are a natural process but human activities on the dunes make this phenomenon more likely to happen.
This habitat is home to a variety of birds including Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, Cormorants, Terns and the impressive Osprey.
Conservation StatusUnder the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950, a Priority 3 ecological community, ‘Coastal Shrublands on Shallow Sands’ has been identified as occurring within the south-eastern portion of the Island near Henrietta Rocks.
- Extinct in Wild
- Critically Endangered
- Near Threatened
- Least Concerned
Protect this sensitive habitat and preserve the Island’s ecosystem by:
Do use water wisely on the island
Do keep to marked paths
Do dispose of your litter correctly
Hey there! Did you know...
The Rottnest dune rehabilitation program uses weed control, seed collection and propagation of coastal plant species at the Rottnest Island nursery for planting. Jute matting, sand-trap fencing, boardwalks and stairways are also used to reduce erosion. The task of keeping the coastal and dune habitat healthy through rehabilitation works is largely done by community volunteers.