Endangered animals in Oceania

Despite the fact that Oceania is the smallest and least populated continent in the world, it is home to Australia and Papua New Guinea, 2 of the roughly 20 megadiverse countries on the planet. Its immense variety of species makes it a paradise for biologists and researchers from around the world, who constantly inform the media and local and international communities about the conservation status of the most threatened species.

Due to human activity, climate change, invasive species and some diseases, many populations of endemic and resident animal species in the region have been depleted and even extinct. Creatures such as moas, haast’s eagles, Maclear’s rats, and marsupial wolves have perished in recent decades. If you have been interested in the subject, keep reading this Green Ecology article and discover some species of animals in danger of extinction in Oceania .

Tasmanian devil

Tasmanian devils or Tasmanian devils ( Sarcophilus harrisii ) are the largest carnivorous marsupials today. They only inhabit Tasmania (an island belonging to Australia) and feed on carrion and small or medium-sized prey such as wombats, bettongs, snakes, rat kangaroos and sheep.

They are in danger of extinction because they were indiscriminately hunted during the first half of the 20th century, they are usually run over when they stop to eat dead animals on the highways and, mainly, because of the disease of facial tumors of the Tasmanian devil, which it is a very aggressive contagious cancer

The kakapo or kákapu ( Strigops habroptilus ) is a flightless night bird endemic to New Zealand . It is the only flightless parrot and also the heaviest in the world. It feeds exclusively on plants, flowers and fruits and is characterized by its greenish plumage and the whiskers that surround its beak.

They are critically endangered due to the destruction of their habitat as they are preyed upon by introduced species such as cats, rats, and stoats. Currently there are less than 210 specimens in the world.

To learn more about the kakapos and other species of birds in the area and other birds with similar characteristics, we encourage you to read our articles on:

  • +20 Australian birds: names and pictures .
  • Night birds: names and types .
  • 10 birds that do not fly .
Bulme’s Fruit Bat

The Bulme fruit bat ( Aproteles bulmerae ) is an endemic species to the island of New Guinea . It lives in caves in mountainous forests between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea at more than 1800 meters above sea level.

It is critically endangered due to hunting and loss of its habitat. By 2016, the IUCN estimated its population at less than 160 specimens [1] .

Hector’s dolphin

Hector’s dolphin ( Cephalorhynchus hectori ) is a toothed cetacean that inhabits the seas and coasts of New Zealand . At just 1.6 meters long and weighing 60 kilograms, it is the smallest dolphin in the world .

This is another of the endangered animals in Oceania, as it has been listed in this endangered section for a long time. Its main threats are accidental capture with fishing nets, collision with naval propellers and pollution. According to the IUCN, Hector’s dolphin population does not exceed 7,400 individuals [2] .

Alcatraz de Abbott

Abbott’s gannet ( Papasula abbotti ) is a medium-sized seabird endemic to the Indian Ocean. It nests only on Christmas Island , so its body is adapted to fly enormous distances. It can live up to 40 years and feeds on fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.

It is in danger of extinction due to alterations to its habitat. According to the IUCN, the world population of Abbott’s gannets is around 6000 mature individuals [3] .

Carricero de Kiritimati

The Kiritimati warbler ( Acrocephalus aequinoctialis ) is a small passerine bird that inhabits the Kiribati islands , northeast of Australia. It is olive-gray in color, weighs approximately 230 grams and does not present sexual dimorphism.

It is in danger of extinction due to rising sea levels caused by climate change and predation by introduced species.

Lord Howe Island Stick Insect

The Lord Howe Island stick insectDryococelus australis ) is a flightless insect of the Phasmatidae family, with nocturnal habits and a long, thick body. Females are significantly larger than males, reaching more than 20 centimeters and weighing more than 1 ounce.

The species was believed to be extinct since 1930 and was rediscovered in 2001. According to the IUCN or red list of endangered species, it is critically endangered , since there is only a record of a population of less than 30 individuals on an uninhabited islet near the Lord Howe Island [4] . For many, it is considered the rarest known insect in the world .

Southern corroboree frog

The southern corroboree frog ( Pseudophryne corroboree ) is an anuran amphibian endemic to southeastern Australia . Its diet is based on insects and larvae and is characterized by its striking dorsal pattern of bright black and lemon yellow stripes.

It is critically endangered due to climate change, forest fires, the introduction of invasive species, and the destruction of its habitat.

Western swamp turtle

The western swamp tortoise ( Pseudemydura umbrina ) is a freshwater reptile that lives in small segmented populations in southwestern Australia .

It is critically endangered due to predation by introduced species, the segmentation and destruction of its habitat, and decreased rainfall due to climate change.

Other endangered animals in Oceania

In addition to those already mentioned, these are more species of animals from Oceania in danger or in critical danger of extinction :

  • Northern hairy-nosed wombat 
  • Quokka
  • Numbat
  • Quol orientalis 
  • Goodfellow tree kangaroo 
  • Canguro arborícola de manto dorado
  • Kangaroo-rata colipeludo
  • Bettong del norte 
  • Rata coligorda 
  • King rat
  • D’entrecasteaux Archipelago Pogonomys
  • Pygmy mountain opossum 
  • Christmas Island flying fox
  • Christmas Island Shrew 
  • Mielero regente
  • Myelero orejinegro 
  • Tahitian monarch 
  • Tuamotu Partridge Pigeon
  • Frigatebird of Christmas 
  • Short-billed Funeral Cockatoo 
  • Long-billed Funeral Cockatoo
  • South Island takahe swamphen 
  • Yellow-spotted tree frog 
  • Blue Mountain Water Skink
  • Aaadonta constricta Moluscus.
  • Mollusk Aaadonta fuscozonata.
  • Moluscus Aaadonta irregularis.
  • Molusco Aadonta kinlochi.
  • Mollusk Aaadonta pelewana.
  • Raya Cownose javanesa
  • Humphead wrasse 
  • Southern bluefin tuna 
  • Oceanic shark 
  • Peregrine shark 
  • Common hammerhead shark
  • Giant hammerhead shark
  • Whale shark 
  • Blue whale 
  • Fin whale 
  • Tortuga carey
  • Green turtle

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