The Capes catchments area is located approximately 290 km south of Perth in the south west of Western Australia. It covers 97.118 ha of land between Cape Naturaliste in the north and Cape Leeuwin in the south, and extends inland to include the catchment of the Margaret River, as well as that of a number of smaller creek systems draining westwards to the Leeuwin-Naturaliste coast.
The Capes catchments area encompasses portions of four national parks, including the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park featuring some of the finest cave systems in Australia and also includes the popular Boranup Karri Forest.
The South West Region is an internationally recognised hotspot of vascular plant biodiversity. There are currently 30 plant species that are classified as Declared Rare Flora within the Capes catchments area.
The Capes catchments also support a diverse range of fauna species. Whilst some species such as the Western Grey Kangaroo are common, many others are now rarely seen or are restricted in range and have been afforded special protection status.
There are a number of threats to the biodiversity within the Capes catchments area including:
The Capes coast
The Cape to Cape coast is home to Australia’s tallest lighthouse, the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, and provides picturesque views and a range of recreational opportunities. The long beaches, sheltered bays, good fishing, world-class surfing and the dramatic coastal cliffs combine to give the Leeuwin-Naturaliste region its unique character.
The natural beauty of this area attracts thousands of visitors each year, increasing the pressure on the coastal and marine environments, with several issues including:
The Capes catchments include parts of 4 National Parks