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Australian endangered species

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Open wide: don’t be fooled by the appearance of a Leatherback’s mouth, they eat only jellyfish. Tom Doyle

This summer at the beach, watch out for the world’s biggest turtle

Going to the beach this summer? If you’re in southern Australia, keep your eyes peeled for the world’s largest turtle, the leatherback. If you do, you can report sightings to researchers at Deakin University…
Gump, who died in May, was the last known member of her species. Director of National Parks/Supplied

Vale ‘Gump’, the last known Christmas Island Forest Skink

Among the most haunting and evocative images of Australian wildlife are the black and white photographs of the last Thylacine, languishing alone in Hobart Zoo. It’s an extraordinary reminder of how close…
Could Australia’s new threatened species commissioner be the break Tasmania’s endangered devils need? jomilo75/Flickr

Threatened species win a voice in Canberra – but it’s too late for some

Australia’s threatened animals and plants may have received a small win today — the announcement of Australia’s first threatened species commissioner by Environment Minister Greg Hunt in Melbourne. The…
Quolls have been hit hard by the introduction of cane toads, foxes, cats and other big changes over the past 200 years – but if we act fast, we may be able to save them. Bronwyn Fancourt

Quolls are in danger of going the way of Tasmanian tigers

With sharp teeth and an attitude to match, quolls are some of Australia’s most impressive hunters. Ranging from around 300g to 5kg, these spectacularly spotted marsupials do an out-sized job of controlling…
What’s the best way to give Australia’s mammals a helping hand? Northern Australia Hub, National Environmental Research Program

To save Australia’s mammals we need a change of heart

Twenty-nine Australian land mammals have become extinct over the last 200 years, and 56 are currently facing extinction. These losses and potential losses represent over a third of the 315 species present…
Caught: a female swift parrot emerging from her tree-hollow nest. Dejan Stojanovic

Sugar gliders are eating swift parrots – but what’s to blame?

Swift parrots are one of Australia’s most endangered birds, but until very recently we didn’t know why. New research shows that they’re being eaten by sugar gliders at their breeding grounds in Tasmania…
The Largetooth Sawfish is one of the world’s largest fishes, growing to more than 6 metres. Miguel Clavero

Australian endangered species: Largetooth Sawfish

Sharks and rays are some of the world’s most threatened animals, with a quarter of all species at risk of extinction. Among the sharks and rays, sawfish are some of the most threatened, with all five species…
About as big as they get: a female Golden Galaxias. Scott Hardie

Australian endangered species: Tasmanian galaxiids

While the rivers of northern Australia and the Murray-Darling Basin are renowned for their iconic, large-sized, fish species such as Murray Cod and Barramundi, the temperate inland waterways of Tasmania…
The Holy Grail of myrmecology: the Dinosaur Ant. Ajay Narendra

Australian endangered species: Dinosaur Ant

The Dinosaur Ant (Nothomyrmecia macrops) is so-called because it is a “living fossil”. It is arguably one of the closest living examples of what some of the earliest true ants might have been like, both…
Like many island animals, the Kangaroo Island Dunnart is critically endangered. Jody Gates

Australian endangered species: Kangaroo Island Dunnart

Island fauna are particularly vulnerable to new threats. Not only do they have a very limited population size and distribution to begin with, they can display extreme naïveté to new predators, due to a…
Vesk’s Plant-louse lives only on a single species of wattle. Melinda Moir

Australian endangered species: Vesk’s Plant-louse

Vesk’s Plant-louse (Acizzia veski) was discovered in 2007 within the Stirling Range National Park, a biodiversity hotspot of southwestern Australia. It is not a true “louse” but is a species of Hemiptera…
Somehow the Orange-bellied Parrot is always getting into trouble. Fatih Sam

Australian endangered species: Orange-bellied Parrot

If you had to ask an average Australian the name of a threatened bird in this country, many would nominate the Orange-bellied Parrot. Critically endangered, and with fewer than 50 left in the wild, it…
The paradise of Lord Howe Island has a grim history of biodiversity loss. Roberta W B

Australian endangered species: Lord Howe Long-eared Bat

Some threatened species are familiar and well-known; others are obscure. The Lord Howe Long-eared Bat may be the epitome of obscure. Were it not for the fluke discovery of a singe tiny but distinctive…
What’s threatening the Mallacoota burrowing crayfish? Point the finger at grazing, forestry, and fishing. Jason Coughran

Australian endangered species: Victorian burrowing crayfish

Burrowing crayfish are a particular challenge to survey and to conserve because they live underground, and their ability to disperse is extremely limited. Sometimes this means that impacts on their habitat…
Woylie have decline by up to 95% since 2001. Why is a mystery. Flickr/Arthur Chapman

Australian endangered species: Woylie

The introduced red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has had a devastating impact of Australia’s native mammal fauna, particularly on those in the “Critical Weight Range”, between 35 and 5500 grams. Combined with landscape…
This tiny tinker frog is lives in the gullies of Queensland rainforests. Flickr/Smithsonian's National Zoo

Australian endangered species: Tinker frogs

South-west of the port of Gladstone in Queensland lies Kroombit Tops National Park, housing many plants and animals, some of them unique. The reserve includes steep escarpments with wet, rainforest gullies…
The Lesser Stick-nest Rat is poorly known, and definitely didn’t climb around in trees. Wikimedia Commons

Australian endangered species: Lesser Stick-nest Rat

Australia has the world’s worst mammalian extinction records. Since 1788, 21 species have gone extinct in Australia and its territories. This includes 10 rodents, mostly from the arid interior. As with…
Mammals are disappearing across northern Australia; the Capentarian Rock-rat is one of them. Damien Stanioch

Australian endangered species: Carpentarian Rock-rat

Mammals are disappearing in Australia’s Top End, and we’re not really sure why. This is particularly concerning as northern Australia has a human population density of one person per ten square kilometres…

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