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Published On: Tue, Dec 31st, 2019

5 Endangered Species in Australia You Need to Know About

Did you know that the first ever mammalian extinction in the world that was caused by human-driven climate change occurred in Australia? 

Devasting but true. The Bramble Cay melomys, that was native to an island in the Queensland province, was sadly declared extinct earlier this year.

This tiny rodent will never walk the Earth again, and the worst part is that this could have easily been avoided with the implementation of a national recovery plan. 

Sadly, it is too late for the Bramble Cay melomys, but there are many other endangered species in Australia that can still be saved. 

Keep reading to discover five species that are currently critically endangered in the country, plus how you can help save them. 

 

  • Southern corroboree frog

 

Only the size of a human fingernail, this tiny frog lives on the New South Wales and Victorian border. With less than 150 breeding males left, this frog’s main threat is suspected to be chytrid fungi. 

Thankfully, a captive-breeding program reintroduced 800 eggs into Kosciuszko National Park in 2012, but this species of frog is still very much under threat of becoming extinct. 

photo/ andrew c

 

  • Margaret River burrowing crayfish

 

Currently listed as critically endangered, this species may in fact be already extinct as no sightings have been made in 1985. 

All threats to this species have been caused by humans, with land clearing being the biggest danger that has been inflicted on this burrowing crayfish. Farming, mining and the development of urban housing have all lead to this species’ natural habitat being eroded and destroyed. 

One of the ways in which you can help save this species, plus many others like it, is by demanding action on climate change. You personally can do this by:

  • Educating your family, friends and neighbors about the effects of climate change
  • Taking action yourself to be more environmentally friendly 
  • Contacting your elected officials 
  • Speaking to your local government 

 

  • Southern bent-wing bat 

 

This bat can be found in caves between Victoria and South Australia but has been in a steady state of decline for the past twenty years with 67% of its population being decimated within this time period. 

Again, humans are the cause of their diminishing numbers with habitat loss due to grazing land, pesticides and disruption of roosting habits

Thankfully, a recovery plan has been put together to try and pinpoint the exact causes of their decline, but they will need to work quickly if this species has any chance of surviving. 

 

  • Woylie, or brush tailed bettong

 

A member of the kangaroo family, this small marsupial can be found in Western Australia. The Woylie is a clever creature that creates small diggings in the ground which can help trap nutrients for native plants. 

Their main threats are foxes and feral cats, although disease could be another potential factor in their demise. 

Efforts have been made to save this species; namely, by building reservation areas where these marsupials are protected from dangerous predators. 

 

  • Regent honeyeater

 

This bird is instantly recognizable by its elegant white, black and gold appearance, but sadly you may not get to see one in all its splendidness for much longer. 

Land clearing has caused devastation on the woodland and forest areas that these birds call home with only an estimated 17% of their natural habitat remaining.

A breeding program has been created to save this species and more recently, some of the captive bred birds have been released into the wild and appear to be settling well in their new homes. 

Author: Carol Trehearn

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