Wallaby Click to enlarge image
Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

Fauna is all of the animal life present in a particular region or time.

The corresponding term for plants is flora. Flora, fauna are collectively referred to as biota. Zoologists and paleontologists use fauna to refer to a typical collection of animals found in a specific time or place, e.g. the "Sonoran Desert fauna" or the "Burgess Shale fauna". Paleontologists sometimes refer to a sequence of faunal stages, which is a series of rocks all containing similar fossils.

Australian fauna

The fauna of Australia consists of a huge variety of animals; some 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles, 24% of fish and insects and 93% of amphibians that inhabit our continent are native to Australia.

Of the estimated 200,000 animal species in Australia, about 96% are invertebrates.