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Threatened fauna of Australia

Threatened fauna of Australia are those species and subspecies of birds, fish, frogs, insects, mammals, molluscs, crustaceans, and reptiles to be found in Australia that are in danger of becoming extinct. This article lists species classified as threatened species under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).


Based on the list of Australian animals extinct in the Holocene, about 33 mammals (27 from the mainland, including the thylacine), 24 birds (three from the mainland), one reptile, and three frog species or subspecies are strongly believed to have become extinct in Australia during the Holocene epoch. These figures exclude dubious taxa like the Roper River scrub robin (Drymodes superciliaris colcloughi) and possibly extinct taxa like the Christmas Island shrew (Crocidura trichura).[citation needed]

An online database of threatened mammals launched on 22 April 2020 reported that there had been a decline of more than a third of threatened mammal numbers in the past 20 years, but the data also show that targeted conservation efforts are working. The Threatened Mammal Index "contains population trends for 57 of Australia's threatened or near-threatened terrestrial and marine mammal species".[1]

A study published in Biological Conservation in March 2023 listed 23 species which the authors considered to no longer meet the criteria as threatened species under the EPBC Act.[2] The team, led by John Woinarski of Charles Darwin University, looked at all species listed as threatened under the act in 2000 and 2022. There was one fish (Murray cod) and one reptile (Flinders Ranges worm-lizard) on the list, along with fifteen mammals, eight birds, and four frogs.[3]

Threatened species legislation

The list of species below includes those proclaimed under the Australian federal EPBC Act. The classifications are based on those used by the World Conservation Union (IUCN); however, IUCN and Australian rankings do differ. Each state and territory also has its own legislation relating to environmental protection.

Federal legislation

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) and Regulations set up a framework for protection of the Australian environment, including its biodiversity and its natural and culturally significant places.

State legislation

Threatened species in Australia are protected by, or affected by, four main types of legislation:

List of species

Extinct in the wild

One fish is listed as extinct in the wild.

Critically endangered

Five mammals, six birds, two reptiles, three fish and five other species are listed as critically endangered.







Thirty-four mammals, thirty-eight birds, eleven reptiles, eighteen frogs, sixteen fishes and eleven other species are listed as endangered.



This exceptionally large Macquarie perch was caught on a lure (visible in the picture) and was carefully released.


Corroboree frog


Loggerhead turtle


Gouldian finch, Erythrura gouldiae
Golden-shouldered parrot


Tiger quoll




The red handfish
Great white shark


Growling grass frog


Ornamental snake


Cape Barren goose
Golden whistler



Four fish and one mammal are dependent on conservation measures.



See also


  1. ^ Kilvert, Nick (22 April 2020). "Australia's threatened mammals decline by more than a third since 1990s, but there's a silver lining". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  2. ^ Woinarski, John C.Z.; Garnett, Stephen T.; et al. (2023). "Lights at the end of the tunnel: The incidence and characteristics of recovery for Australian threatened animals". Biological Conservation. 279. Elsevier BV: 109946. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2023.109946. ISSN 0006-3207.
  3. ^ "Researchers find 26 Australian species recovered from the brink of extinction". ABC News. 24 February 2023. Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  4. ^ "List of Threatened Fauna". Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Australian 'genital-breathing' turtle faces extinction, group says".
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Threatened fauna of Australia
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