Great Barrier Reef Animals

Supporting a great diversity of marine and plant life, including many endangered species, about 30 whales, dolphins, and porpoises live on the Great Barrier Reef.

Some include large dugongs, the dwarf minke whale, the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, and the humpback whale.

Over 1,500 species live on the Great Barrier Reef, including clownfish, red bass, red-throat emperor, coral trout, and snapper.

It also hosts 17 species of sea snakes in warm waters up to 50 metres deep. They are much more common in the southern area of the reef than in its northern section.

At certain parts of the year, six different sea turtles come to the reef to breed. These include the green sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, hawksbill turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, flatback turtle, and olive ridley turtle.

Sea Turtle

The green sea turtles have two genetically distinct populations, one located in the northern part of the reef and the other in the southern region.

Fifteen species of seagrass beds attract dugongs and turtles and provide a habitat for the fish.

The Great Barrier Reef is also home to some ocean predators. These include around 125 types of sharks, stingrays, and chimaera.

Hammerhead Shark

Close to 5,000 species of molluscs are recognised to exist in the area, including the giant clam.

giant clams

At least 215 birds visit the Great Barrier Reef and nest on some islands in the air. One of these is the white-bellied sea eagle, one of the 1.7 million birds that visit reef sites for breeding.

Great Barrier Reef facts

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