Australia has more than one million species, including special species that are found only in Australia. Approximately, 85% of the continent consists of flowering plants, 84% consists of mammals, 45% consists of birds, and 89% consists  of aquatic life.

Since the European settlement, hundreds of species have been extinct and listed as endangered or vulnerable.

Currently, almost ⅓ of mammals are at risk of extinction. Human activity and natural events have continued to change Australia’s ecology. For instance, fire, drought, disease, and floods have caused a threat to many native species.


HABITAT: Australia

Queensland, Northern New South Wales, Victoria

DIET: Herbivores

The koala is one of most iconic animal species and only found in Australia. Koalas vary in size and color depending on where they live. They have an energy conservation lifestyle, they move slowly, feed mainly at night, and sleep up to 20 hours on a branch each day.

This symbolic species is under the threat of extinction. It is due to the fur trade from the mid 19th century, koala hunters used koala’s soft waterproof fur to make hats and fur lining for coats. Furthermore, the ongoing tree-clearing for agriculture and urban development in New South Wales and Queensland has led to the destruction of nearly 80% of the koala’s habitat. 

The fires in New South Wales and Victoria burnt down a significant part of the koalas’ habitat. More than 61,000 koalas were affected by the bushfire crisis. The koalas are particularly vulnerable to bushfires because they live in eucalyptus trees, which burn quickly and the koalas move slowly. 

Koalas are already under the threat of extinction, over the last three generations nearly two-thirds of the population has been lost due to bushfire, drought and man-made causes. They are vulnerable to climate change.



HABITAT: Australia

Rottnest Island, Bald Island, Western Australi

DIET: Herbivores

The Quokka is a cat-sized, well-known for its cute smile. We often see countless selfies with Quokka on Rottnest Island. They prefer moist conditions with dense scrub-land. Since they belong to the same family as kangaroos and wallabies, the female quokka also raises their offspring in a pouch.
This cute creature has almost become extinct because the introduction of the red fox and feral cats means an increase in predators for the quokka. The degradation of its habitat such as climate change and land clearing, has brought a decline in the number of the quokka. Since the quokka is an attractive and popular animal, the development of tourism exposed them to human diseases and poor diets.

The bushfire in the Stirling Range of Western Australia destroyed homes for the quokka. It takes a really long time to recover after a large bushfire event.



HABITAT: Australia & New Guinea

DIET: Herbivores

Wallabies are medium-sized hopping marsupials. They are similar to kangaroos but smaller. There are 30 different types of wallabies classified by the habitat in which they are found. There are rock wallabies, bush wallabies, and shrub wallabies.

Wallabies have an upright posture supported by two large hind legs, feet, and large thick tails. Their primary locomotion is by hopping and the adult wallaby can move 25km/h to 48km/h.  The female wallabies raise their offspring in a pouch and feed them milk.  


Black-flanked rock-wallaby is small, agile, and shy and lives in central and western Australia. They live in rugged rocky areas where they shelter during the day in cliffs, caves, screes, and rock piles. They feed on grasses, forbes, fruits, seeds and shrubs.

The black-flanked rock-wallaby is one of 20 mammals that the Australian Government has chosen to prioritise for recovery. Due to habitat destruction, predation by foxes and feral cats, and competition for food and shelter is the key point for reduction of the wallaby population.




HABITAT: Australia & Tasmania

Coastal Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania

DIET: Herbivores

The Orange-bellied Parrot (OBP) is a small migratory ground parrot. They are about 45-50 grams and have bright colored feathers on their body. They have bright green feathers on their backs and wings, yellow feathers on their chest, orange feathers on their belly, and blue feathers on their brow and wings.

OBP is one of the three migratory parrot species in the world. They breed on the west coast of Tasmania and Melaleuca. Every autumn and winter, they migrate to coastal Victoria and South Australia. Their survival rate of the juvenile OBP during migration is very low. The OBP’s nests are in eucalyptus trees.

Sadly, they are at risk of extinction in the next 3-5 years; fewer than 50 are left in the wild and they are listed as critically endangered. The major threat is the lack of females in the wild, which refers to functional extinction. The historical decline is because of the loss of habitat and increase of predators and noxious weeds.

The National Recovery Team, who are representatives from Australia, Victorian and Tasmanian government, captive breeding institutions, key non-government organizations, research institutions, and community members are now working on protecting Orange-Bellied Parrots.