Threats to Australia’s imperilled species and implications for a national response

Date: 17, Dec, 2018
Author(s):   Kearney, S.G., Carwardine, J., Reside, A.E., Fisher, D.O., Maron, M., Doherty, T.S., Legge, S., Silcock, J., Woinarski, J.C.Z., Garnett, S.T., Wintle, B.A., Watson, J.E.M.
Publisher: TSR Hub

Australia occupies a unique position in global biodiversity. Although accounting for only 5% of the world’s landmass, it supports 12.5% of all vertebrate species, and almost 8% of all known plant, animal and fungi species. The great majority are found nowhere else on earth: more than 85% of Australia’s plants, mammals, reptiles and amphibians are endemic. This makes Australia one of 17 ‘megadiverse’ nations and, with the US, one of only two that are also economically wealthy. However, since European occupation, Australia has had an extremely poor record for the dramatic decline and in some cases extinction of many of this continent’s unique species. We identified the threats to each species through the Australian Government’s Species Profiles and Threats (SPRAT) Database and IUCN threat categories used to assess Red Listed species.