What animals are in the Great Barrier Reef?

What animals are in the Great Barrier Reef?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 12/04/2020

Reading time: 3 mins

The Great Barrier Reef is undoubtedly one of the most unbelievable locations in the world.

Made up of over 3,000 individual reefs, vibrant turquoise waters, white sand islands and thousands of species of wildlife. This wonder of the world houses more than 10% of the entire fish population on earth, therefore making it a spectacular destination to snorkel and scuba dive. As well as the 1,500 species of fish, there are over 133 types of rays and sharks and 30 species of dolphins and whales.

  • Fish and birds

    There are over 1,500 species of fish that swim around the Great Barrier Reef each day, some of them incredibly vibrantly coloured and unusual looking. Some of the most popular fish you may see while exploring the reef are, angelfish, clownfish, butterflyfish, cardinalfish, parrotfish, and of course, so many more. There are 22 species of seabirds that specifically breed on the islands and cays of the reef, as well as many migratory birds.

  • Rays and Sharks

    There are over 160 species of sharks that are known to swim around the reef. The most common shark that is found in the reef is the White-tipped reef shark which, is a quiet and usually a peaceful animal, unlike its counterpart the Great White Shark which is known to appear in the area. Hammerhead sharks and Tiger sharks are also common in the Great Barrier Reef, and ones to look out for. When stingrays are mentioned, most people think of them as lethal creatures, due to the death of our beloved hero Steve Irwin, however, it is incredibly rare to be stung by one. There are several species of stingrays in the Great Barrier Reef, that may be dangerous, so be sure to keep an eye out for them when you are swimming.

  • Dolphins and Whales

    The warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef make it the perfection location for mammals to spend their time. There are more than 30 species of mammals found in the Great Barrier Reef, some of them include, the adorable and well-known Bottlenose dolphins, enormous humpback whales, the Bryde’s whale, quirky looking dugongs, sea cows and dwarf minke whales, just to name a few.

Conservation efforts

The Great Barrier Reef has been subjected to years of coral bleaching and a number of other negative impacts caused by global warming. However, many charities, organisations and foundations have been created in order to protect this unique part of the world. A variety of conservation efforts are occurring every day with the hope that the Great Barrier Reef will retain its beauty for many centuries to come.

Related article: What are stingers and should you be scared?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.