An introduction of Biogeography and detail
study of Fauna of Australian Region
Prepared and Presented by : Pradip subedi
The branch of biology which deals with the
geographical distribution of animals and plants
is called Biogeography. Biogeography is a branch
of geography that studies the past and present
distribution of the world's many species.
History of biogeography
The study of biogeography gained popularity with the work of
Alfred Russel Wallace in the mid-to-late 19th Century. Wallace,
originally from England, was a naturalist, explorer,
geographer, anthropologist, and biologist. He first extensively
studied the Amazon River and then the Malaya Archipelago
(the islands located between the mainland of Southeast Asia
and Australia). During his time there, he examined the flora
and fauna and came up with the Wallace Line - a line that
divides Indonesia apart and the distribution the animals found
there. Those closer to Asia were said to be more related to
Asian animals while those close to Australia were more related
to the Australian animals. Because of his extensive early
research, Wallace is often called the "Father of Biogeography."
The branch of the
biogeography that is
concerned with the
distribution of animal
The branch of the
biogeography that is
concerned with the
distribution of plant
Six zoogeographical regions
A. Palaeartic region:- it includes Europe, temperate Asia, North
Africa and Arabia
B. Nearctic region:- It includes North America and Greenland.
C. Ethiopian region:- It includes whole of Africa, Arabia, South
of the trophic cancer and Madagascar.
D.Neotropical region:- It includes whole of south and central
America and West indias.
E. Australian region: It includes New guinea and Neighboring
F. Oriental region:- It includes India, Srilanka, Indochina Nepal
Australian region includes the whole of Australia,
New zealand, New Guinea and neighboring islands
and practically the whole islands in the pacific ocean.
The major islands are: New Zealand and Auckland
island, Tasmania and Australia
The northern part of the region, north Australia and
New Guinea lies with in the tropics with high
summer temperate and much other the area is
covered by rain forest. The interior of Australian
continent is also hot but dry. While further south the
climate becomes mainly temperate.
Fauna of Australian Region :
Many Zoogeography workers thought that Australia
and America might have connected by a landmass.
This landmass is called “Gondwana landmass”.
Because of this landmass the fauna of Australia and
America are similar. But after sometime this
Gondwana landmass was submerged, Australia as
separated. Hence Australian fauna become isolated.
In this region Eutherian mammals were not invaded
because of the absence of Carnivorous Eutherians.
Marsupials have in- creased in their number. Many
important Marsupials were developed.
There are 134 families of terrestrial vertebrates
among them 30 are peculiar.
58 families of birds are present
44 families of birds are more or less widely
Among them 17 are peculiar .
Peculiar birds of Australian region
Birds of paradise
Tooth billed pigeon
In this region flightless birds are common.
1) Apteryx (Kiwi); It is present only in Newzealand.
2) Dromaeus (Emu) New Guinea.’
3) Cr0sso waries -Present in Australia.
Common Avian Fauna Shared with
These flightless birds are common in this region. The
other birds can be seen in this region are
1) Pigeon (Columbia livia)
5) Passer domesticus (Sparrow)
6) Tooth billed pigeon.
Pygopodiae( scale footed lizard)
Carettchelydidae (Fly river Turtle)
Uniquely, Australia has more venomous than non-venomous species of
Reptiles in Australian Region:
1) In Newzealand snakes are absent.
2) Sphenodon is seen only in this region.
3) Varanus (Monitor Lizard)
5 Calotes versicolor
6) Mabuya etc
7) Testudo elegans
9) Caretta caretta…..Reptiles are seen.
Genyophrynidae ( Genophyrne)
There are very few amphibians. The common toad and
tailed amphibians are absent while Hyla and Rana are
the Australian representative frogs.
Hyla arbouria ,
Alytes etc., Amphibians are common.
Fishes in Australian region
: In this region the most important fish is a lung fish.
Ceratodous is seen in this region. It is called
“Australian Lung Fish”. In
this region many other fresh water and marine fishes are
4) Catla catla.
Subregion of Australian Region
a) Australian subregion.
b) Austromalayan Subregion.
c) Polynesian Subregion.
d) Newzealand Subregion.
a) Australian Subregion
: It includes whole Australia and Tasmania. This
region is located towards Southwest of Pacific ocean.
In this region very peculiar fauna is seen. It is
because this part is separated from the main land by
a big stretch of Ocean. It shows tropical and
temperate climate. In this subregion 34 genera of
marsupials included. Hence it is called “Home of
Tailed Amphibians are-reported in this region.
Flightless birds like Emus are included in this region.
b) Austromalayan Subregion :
It includes all the islands of the Malaya archipelago
not included in the oriental region together with New
guinea and Solomon islands. In this sub region there
are 113 families of terrestrial vertebrates of which 4
Crowned pigeon Fly river turtle Bower Birds
Honey eaters Loris etc
c) Polynesian Subregion
The rest of the islands as far north as the Tropic of
Cancer and including the Sandwich Islands are
embraced in the Polynesian sub-region.
Tooth billed Pigeons are common.
d) Newzealand Subregion
In this region Newzealand, Auckland, campbell and
Macquaire islands are included
In this subregion Newzealand is included.
1) In this subregion snakes are absent
2) Sphenodon a living fossil is confined to this region
3) In this region Kiwi flightless birds are present. Kiwi is
the National bird of Newzealand.
4) Rats and Bats are common.
5). Only one frog Liopelma is peculiar.