The small islands 135 km from the Indonesian islands are not inhabited by people and above the sea level, there is not too much interesting. In the seas around the islands though there is a very high level of biological diversity. Here are found 433 species of mollusks and the highest known diversity of sea snakes – some 14 species, around 40,000 snakes living ten years ago (now less), some 650 species of fish and high numbers of other sea animals.
On Ashmore island reefs are feeding some 11,000 sea turtles. Here lives genetically distinct population of Dugong (Dugong dugon) – some 50 animals.
Some endemic species of sea animals of these islands are:
- Sea mollusc Amoria spenceriana;
- Sea mollusc Cymbiola baili;
- Sea mollusc Conus morrisoni;
- Short-nosed sea snake Aipysurus apraefrontalis – seen also at the coast of Australia;
- Leaf-scaled sea snake Aipysurus foliosquama – comparatively small, 60cm long snake;
- Dusky sea snake Aipysurus fuscus.
Here are found also some wrecks of ships and airplanes.
Described landmarks of Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Video of Ashmore Island
Hannah Herne, September 2017