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Western Australian Museum

The Western Australian Museum’s long and fascinating history reflects and documents the State’s rich and diverse natural and cultural heritage.

Established in 1891 in the old Perth gaol, it was known as the Geological Museum and its collections were geological, ethnological and biological. In 1897 it officially became the Western Australian Museum and Art Gallery.

During 1959 the botanical collection was transferred to the new Herbarium and the Museum and the Art Gallery became separate institutions. The Museum focussed its collecting and research interests in the areas of natural sciences, anthropology, archaeology and the State’s history. Over the 1960s and 1970s it also began to work in the emerging areas of historic shipwrecks and Aboriginal site management.

Today the Western Australian Museum comprises six public sites and a collection and research centre and houses more than 4.5 million objects from rare fossils to the iconic racing yacht Australia II.

The Museum also manages 200 shipwreck sites of the 1500 known to be located off the WA coast and manages eight Aboriginal land reserves.

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Articles (1 - 3 of 3)

A fire coral and friends, Millepora intricata in a lagoon on the Great Barrier Reef. Mike Emslie and Daniela Ceccarelli

Australian endangered species: Fire corals

The fire coral (Millepora boschmai) is one of the rarest species of coral in the world. It is known only from a small number of locations in the Pacific Ocean, Panama and Indonesia, and it appears this…
A high level of coral cover doesn’t always mean a high level of species diversity; and diversity is important. Maria Beger

A lot of coral doesn’t always mean high biodiversity

The health and productivity of coral reefs is rapidly declining. Hard corals are the principal builders of coral reef ecosystems; however they are struggling to survive due to pollution, catchment clearing…
Coral bleaching is a serious issue, but we’re learning how reefs can best recover. AFP/Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Back from the bleach – how isolation helps coral reefs recover

Coral reefs around the world are under pressure from multiple threats. A burgeoning gas industry – such as that near Gladstone – is one of the newest of these. Pollution, sedimentation, declining water…

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