Stradbroke Island is one of a chain of sand islands and other dune landscapes guarding the coast of South East Queensland. North Stradbroke is the second largest sand island in the world and is internationally recognised.
Other islands and dune landscapes have been protected through community action. Fraser Island is a declared World Heritage Area. North Stradbroke Island is the only sand island off the South-east coast of Queensland not protected against the environmental devastation of sand mining.
Fraser Island is World Heritage. Moreton Island is National Park.
The coastal dune country is particularly complex on Straddie with its freshwater lakes, rare sand rainforest and wildflower heath. There are a number of threatened or endangered species as well as unique species, for example frogs, still being discovered on Straddie.
Prior to 1896, North and South Stradbroke Island were connected, with the island simply called Stradbroke Island. However, in 1896 the sea broke through at Jumpinin and now there are two islands. Unlike North Stradbroke, which has high species and ecosystem diversity, South Stradbroke has lower diversity. It is just a few metres above sea level and only 2.5 kilometres wide. South Stradbroke has mainly wallum scrub, with dune plants and casuarina on the East side. Due to the separation of the Stradbroke swamp wallabies from the mainland wallabies, a golden coloured wallaby is found on the Stradbroke Islands.
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