Australia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful nature, and iconic wildlife found nowhere else on this planet. Together, we can Regenerate Australia and save our unique wildlife.

Australian Wildlife

Our wildlife is uniquely Australian.

We have towering eucalypt forests, home to animals, including koalas and greater gliders. Intricate river systems, where platypus hide. Rugged ranges and red earth, where wallabies bounce. And then there are our magnificent beaches and seascapes, where marine turtles nest and whales make their annual migration.

Our geographical isolation means many of these animals and plants have evolved over time and are unique to Australia.

Sadly, more than 550 of our native animals are at risk of being lost forever. Habitat destruction, invasive predators, inappropriate fires and the increasing impacts of a changing climate are pushing many of our precious wildlife to the brink of extinction. We’ve already lost more than 60 of our unique species.

WWF-Australia is working in partnership with Traditional Owners, communities, organisations, businesses and individuals to protect our threatened wildlife, restore their habitats and turn the tide on our extinction crisis. This work is only possible thanks to our incredible supporters.

Together, we can Regenerate Australia and save our unique wildlife.

Saving our wildlife

Here are some of the threatened wildlife we’re working to save in Australia and overseas.

Our boots on the ground

Here are some of the places we’re working in Australia and within the Asia-Pacific region to save endangered wildlife.
Map of Australia and the Asia-Pacific region where WWF works to save endangered wildlife.

Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world

Over thirty million years of geographical isolation have created animals and plants unique to Australia. However, this rich biological diversity has seriously declined since European settlement. 34 Australian mammals have become extinct over the past 200 years.  In the land of the kangaroo, the platypus and the koala, our mammals are the most distinctive in the world. 86% can’t be found anywhere else. But our mammal population is dwindling. And the main wildlife in danger of extinction or decline are those that fall in a critical weight range – 35 to 5,500 grams. Threatened animals in this range include woyliesnumbats, bandicoots, bilbiesquokkasquolls and rock-wallabies, which are particularly vulnerable to predators, including feral cats and foxes.

How can we save our wildlife?

Koala mother and joey seeking refuge on a bulldozed logpile
© Briano / WWF-Aus

Strengthening our national nature laws

Australia’s environmental laws are failing to protect our wildlife and the places we love. The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 is meant to protect and conserve our country’s environment. However, rampant destruction of threatened wildlife habitat continues at an unprecedented rate due to the loopholes in these laws. With the catastrophic bushfires of 2019-20 impacting nearly 3 billion animals, many of our precious wildlife are on the fast track towards extinction. We need stronger environmental laws with proper safeguards in place and to establish an independent Environmental Protection Authority to enforce these laws. As part of the reform, Indigenous Australians’ Knowledge, Culture and interest should be recognised and valued under the laws.

Wildlife carer Margit Cianelli holding a platypus orphan
© Nature Picture Library / Alamy Stock Photo

Protecting the environment

We want Australia to take the lead in reversing nature destruction by protecting at least 30% of Australia’s land and 30% of our oceans and freshwater by 2030 as part of the agreed UN Global Biodiversity COP.

Girringun IPA Coordinator Whitney Rassip with Girringun Rangers Destiny Morganson and Jackson Cassady surveying the Girringun Region Indigenous Protected Areas
© 2022 Girringun Aboriginal Corporation

Stewardship Conservation

For millennia, First Nations people have cared for Country. Returning to Indigenous management of Country, including cultural fire practices and additional Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs), will play a vital role in protecting Australia’s nature and wildlife. These areas of land and sea are cared for by Traditional Owners who enter into a voluntary agreement with the Federal Government to manage the area for biodiversity conservation.

Carnaby's black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) feeding on a bottlebrush flower, Perth, October 2012.
© Georgina Steytler / WWF-Aus

Threatened species recovery

Australia’s ongoing wildlife decline and growing threatened species list is a result of inadequate funding for environmental protection and recovery. To stop the decline, we need targeted recovery plans for all threatened species, with the appropriate investment to implement on-ground recovery action.

Thylacine family at Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart, 1910
Thylacine family at Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart, 1910 © Public Domain

National Threatened Species Day

On 7 September each year, many people stop and reflect on the fact that on that same date in 1936, Australia’s Tasmanian tiger, also known as the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), slipped over the extinction line. Sixty years later, in 1996, WWF-Australia’s Threatened Species Network and the Australian Government established National Threatened Species Day to commemorate the death of the last Tasmanian tiger at Hobart Zoo. WWF-Australia is working to ensure our nation’s threatened wildlife do not suffer the same fate.

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Our most vulnerable wildlife face a number of key threats.