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Australia and Oceania

Australia and Oceania is the name for the union of the island world of Oceania and Australia into one continent.

Geography

Australia and Oceania comprise the main land mass of the country of Australia itself, offshore New Zealand in the southeast as well as the entire South Pacific region with the large island regions of Melanesia (including New Guinea), Micronesia and Polynesia. The over 7,500 islands together cover a land area of ​​almost 1.3 million square kilometers and extend over a marine area of ​​approximately 70 million square kilometers. The state of Australia has a land area of ​​8 million km².

2016 OceaniaAccording to Countryaah - which mentions country facts - the continent of Australia consists only of the state of Australia and the offshore islands of Tasmania and New Guinea; the island world of Oceania is therefore not attributed to Australia.

Climate and vegetation

The continent of Australia itself spans three climate zones. While the interior of Australia is extremely dry and there are extensive desert areas, the coasts of Australia are tropical or subtropical. There is very little rainfall on large parts of the west and south coast. Due to the different climatic regions, Australia has very different types of landscape. There are tropical rainforests, various types of savannas and deserts.

The animal world is unique because marsupials (kangaroo, koala) and cloak animals like the platypus live in Australia. The bird life is particularly diverse. Bird species are extremely rare on New Zealand and many islands in Oceania. The European settlers introduced dogs, cats, rats and rabbits, which reproduce extremely strongly; this is why many of the native animal species are now at great risk. The colorful flora of Australia and Oceania is just as diverse as the animal world. The sea is an important habitat: there are many fish and aquatic plants, especially near the coral reefs off the coasts of Australia and the islands.

Population

A total of 33 million people live in Australia and Oceania, well below one percent of the earth's population. Above all people of European descent (mostly English or Irish) live in Australia, indigenous peoples like the Melanesians, Micronesians and Polynesians in the South Pacific. The aborigines of Australia, the indigenous Aborigines, make up a negligible proportion of the population of Australia. Much of the population of this continent belongs to the Christian faith.

Plant life in Australia

Plant life is very varied and much of it is unique to Australia. Some genera are of a primitive type that exist only as fossils in other parts of the world. The vegetation indicates that Australia has previously had a land link with South Africa. The northern part of Queensland has a certain element of Malay forms. Vegetation varies with rainfall. The most precipitous areas are wooded. Forests grow in a belt along the entire east coast, all the way to the western foothills of the Great Dividing Range. In the northeastern part of Queensland there are some areas with species rich tropical rainforest. The rest of the east coast down to the Bass Strait, as well as Tasmania, has subtropical rainforest. In this forest, different species of eucalyptus dominate.

In southeastern Australia, huge forests of giant eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus amygdalina) grow, with dense undergrowth. The coastal plain itself on the east coast is drier than the mountainous areas, and here it is savanna or glitzy savanna forest. The southwest corner of Western Australia has dense subtropical forest. Here, 60-70 m tall curry trees (Eucalyptus diversicolor) grow with an undergrowth of palm trees and shrubs. In a narrow belt on the western slope of the inland plateau, the forest consists of jarrah trees (Eucalyptus marginata). In a wide belt along the north coast there is forest water, and in some areas there are denser forests of eucalyptus and palm trees. Where the annual rainfall falls below 500 mm, the forest ends and the vegetation changes to savanna and steppe.

Areas with an annual rainfall of less than 250 mm are desert-like, where bushes of different acacia species dominate. When it rarely rains, a carpet of annuals appears. Areas with an annual rainfall of less than 125 mm are desert with sand dunes and sand plains. The vegetation consists mostly of different grasses with hard, prickly leaves. Large areas are salt steppe, where various halophilic plants (salt plants) grow. The Australian vegetation consists of an unusual number of endemic (native) species. As an example, the Eucalyptus tree genus consists of more than 500 species, of which only 2 or 3 are found outside Australia.

Countries in Oceania
  1. Australia
  2. Fiji
  3. Kiribati
  4. Marshall Islands
  5. Micronesia
  6. Nauru
  7. New Zealand
  8. Palau
  9. Papua New Guinea
  10. Samoa
  11. Solomon Islands
  12. Tonga
  13. Tuvalu
  14. Vanuatu

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