Australia has a huge number of endemic animal species, meaning Australia is home to unique animal species found nowhere else on planet Earth. Animals such as koalas, platypus, kangaroos, the most dangerous snakes and more can be found in the wild exclusively in Australia. Unfortunately, however, many of Australia’s animal species are at extremely high risk of extinction. That is why we will dedicate this GreenEcology post to tell you which are the endangered animals in Australia according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In addition, we will mention the causes that threaten its existence.
The quokka ( Setonix brachyurus ) that with its mouth seems to outline a smile, is known as the happiest animal in the world . It is actually a small herbivorous marsupial that is endemic to Australia. Precisely, the fame that has been generated around this Australian animal has strongly affected its conservation status in the wild, due to the increase in demand for specimens for zoos and as pets. In addition, the quokka is under threat from habitat loss and fragmentation and droughts exacerbated by climate change. Currently, the quokka is classified as vulnerable to extinction according to the IUCN and its populations are in decline.
The Regent Honeycreeper ( Anthochaera phrygia ) is a solitary bird with striking plumage that is part of the fauna of Australia . It particularly inhabits the forested areas of the south-east of Australia. Its current situation severely worries scientists because it has been classified by the IUCN as critically endangered.. The causes that led to the sharp decline in their populations are related to the loss and fragmentation of habitat, trade in their specimens, the introduction of exotic species and climate change. Another somewhat sad fact is that it is believed that the species is losing its typical song: the few existing specimens are so dispersed that young males cannot imitate the song of adult males.
The well-known Tasmanian devil ( Sarcophilus harrisii ) is another of the Australian animals. Its distribution covers only the Australian island of Tasmania, hence its name. Regarding its peculiarities, it is a marsupial mammal, a carnivore with nocturnal and twilight habits. Today it is considered by the IUCN as endangered . The causes that led to the delicate situation of this species are the poaching of its specimens and the introduction of exotic species.
In Australia, there are two species of corroboree frogs: the critically endangered southern corroboree frog ( Pseudophryne corroboree ) and the endangered northern corroboree frog ( Pseudophryne pengilleyi) . The truth is that there are many threats to which these species are exposed, among them we mention the destruction of their habitat, introduction of exotic species, pollution and climate change. It is curious that although both species are the same at first glance, they differ in the patterns and size of the yellow spots on the back.
The Australian humpback dolphin ( Sousa sahulensis ) is one of the animals in vulnerable status in Australia . This peculiar cetacean inhabits the northern coasts of Australia, also reaching the southern coasts of New Guinea. At present, the Australian humpback dolphin is classified by the IUCN as vulnerable to extinction and with its population declining in relation to the number of specimens. The state of vulnerability that this species presents is mainly due to the port development experienced by the Australian coasts, pollution, accidental catches by fishing vessels, hunting and climate change.
The blue tongue lizard ( Tiliqua adelaidensis ) is an Australian species that was believed to be extinct but was rediscovered during 1992. Its distribution is limited to the Barrossa Valley, a valley in southern Australia. This reptile lives in ancient spider burrows in native grasslands. Due to the advancement of agriculture and aquaculture and the levels of contamination caused by these activities, the bluetongue lizard is considered, according to the IUCN, as in danger of extinction .
How to help Australia’s endangered animals
So far we have learned about endangered species in Australia . From now on, we will mention some tips that you can incorporate into your daily life to help Australian animals at risk of extinction.
- Try to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Avoid consuming polluting products.
- Do not promote mascotism or illegal wildlife trafficking. Neither the consumption of products that have parts of animals at risk of extinction.
- Participate in NGOs that promote species conservation.
- Get involved to prevent forest deforestation.
- If you know, report cases of animal poaching.
- Avoid introducing species that come from other places.