The Gulf of Carpentaria
The Gulf of Carpentaria is a large, shallow sea enclosed on three sides by northern Australia. It is a crucial part of one of the last intact tropical marine systems left on the planet.
The Gulf’s seagrass meadows are a hot-spot for globally vulnerable dugong and rare snubfin dolphins. The soft sea floor of the central Gulf is home to an abundance of heart urchins, which cycle nutrients through the inter-connected food web.
Monsoonal rivers that flow into the southern Gulf are largely free from dams and large scale water extraction, making the region globally unique. Free-flowing wild rivers bring a flood of nutrients and fresh water each wet season, supporting high levels of phytoplankton: the sea-plants which produce the oxygen we breathe.
The gulf provides an important resting area for the threatened flatback turtle and green turtle, as part of their migratory highway between their feeding and breeding grounds in the Gulf and the Coral Sea.
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