The Park is a biodiversity hotspot, providing habitat for a range of fauna species and acting an important haven for migratory birds.
It provides essential breeding and feeding habitats for these itinerant species as well as a natural area within the surrounding urban environment where mammals, birds and reptiles can thrive. The Park is a refuge for:
- Over 100 bird species, including the wedge-tailed eagle, from which the Park takes its logo;
- Over 150 invertebrate species;
- Seven amphibian species, including the clicking Crinia and the motorbike frog.
- 32 reptile species, including the bearded dragon, king skink and long necked turtle.
- Eight mammal species, including the western grey kangaroo, honey possum, southern brown bandicoot, black gloved wallaby and short-billed echidna.
Over 100 bird species are recognized as having their range or breeding ground within the Park grounds.
Numerous water birds are attracted on an annual basis to court and breed at Horse Swamp, providing an ideal metropolitan location for birdwatchers to experience their ecology first hand.
Sacred ibis, black swans and numerous duck species can be seen during the wetter months and a bird hide and lookout have been established adjacent to the swamp to enhance visitor viewing.
Reptiles are both common and protected within Whiteman Park.
Snakes can be found in a number of areas and environments within the Park, although they are typically shy and will vacate an area if disturbed. Whiteman Park is home to the Dugite, Tiger Snake and a number of smaller species such as the banded sand snake that burrows into sandy areas.
One of the most common reptile species spotted in the Park is the Rosenberg’s Monitor. This monitor, also known as a goanna, is significantly affected by urban development, as it preys upon on a variety of small native mammals, reptiles and frogs which have declined in number since human settlement. They may also scavenge scraps, allowing them a wide environmental niche, meaning they can be found in a number of the Park environs. Whiteman Park is a significant refuge in suburbia for these amazing creatures. Being cold-blooded, as with other reptiles, the monitors are commonly seen basking in clearings or on roads.
King skinks, heath dragons and bobtail lizards are also frequently spotted, again, usually basking in a warm spot on a sunny day. Approaching them quietly will allow an excellent view of their unique scale patterns.
It is important that visitors maintain the speed limit and remain vigilant when driving within the Park to ensure that these magnificent creatures are not injured or killed by vehicles, as they do not often move out of the way, leading to an unfortunate demise.
Of the species of native mammals, three are now rare on the coastal plain – the southern brown bandicoot (also known by its indigenous name “quenda”), the honey possum, and the western brush (or black-gloved) wallaby.
The Park is also home to the echidna, one of Australia’s unique sub-class of monotremes, a spiny egg-laying mammal which feeds primarily on ant species. Spotting an echidna is a special and rare experience, with many active in the day within the less accessible woodland north of the Village.
The most commonly sighted mammal at Whiteman Park is the western grey kangaroo, with over 800 roaming the Park grounds.
Kangaroos do well in the Park due to the abundance of water and fresh grass, uncommon in the natural bushland in the absence of irrigation.
Joeys can often be spotted hopping with their mothers, or peeking from a warm pouch, providing overseas and local visitors with a special sight in such close proximity! They are most frequently spotted in the picnic areas of the Park in the cooler early mornings and on dusk.