Australia is home to an abundance of distinctive plant and animal species. Our geography and climate has allowed many iconic plants and animals to flourish, but sadly we have a miserable track record of caring for our unique nature.


Since European settlement we have left 92 species extinctions in our wake. Each of these species was one of a kind and is gone forever.


What follows is a full list of all 55 fauna species, and 37 flora species that have been declared extinct since European settlement:




Southern Gastric-brooding Frog

Acacia kingiana

Northern Gastric-brooding Frog, Eungella Gastric-brooding Frog

Diels’ Wattle

Sharp-snouted Day Frog, Sharp-snouted Torrent Frog

Acianthus ledwardii

Southern Day Frog, Mt Glorious Torrent Frog

Amperea xiphoclada var. pedicellata

Tasman Starling

Amphibromus whitei

Lord Howe White-throated Pigeon, White-throated Pigeon (Lord Howe Island)

Short Spider-orchid

Macquarie Island Red-fronted Parakeet, Red-crowned Parakeet (Macquarie Island)

Hidden Coleanthera

Lord Howe Tasman Parakeet, Red-crowned Parakeet (Lord Howe Island)

Deyeuxia lawrencei

Rufous Bristlebird (western), South-western Rufous Bristlebird

Didymoglossum exiguum

King Island Emu

Diuris bracteata

Kangaroo Island Emu


Tasmanian Emu, Emu (Tasmanian)

Decurrent-leaved Frankenia

Lord Howe Gerygone, Lord Howe Warbler

Water Tassel-fern

New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race), Norfolk Island New Zealand Pigeon

Hymenophyllum lobbii

Macquarie Island Buff-banded Rail, Buff-banded Rail (Macquarie Island)

Hymenophyllum whitei

Norfolk Island Long-tailed Triller

Lemmaphyllum accedens

Western Australian Lewin’s Rail, Lewin’s Rail (western)

Drummond’s Lepidium

Norfolk Island Kaka

Small-flowered Leucopogon

Lord Howe Southern Boobook, Lord Howe Boobook Owl

Lycopodium volubile

White Gallinule

Marsdenia araujacea

Paradise Parrot

Grass Fern

Lord Howe Grey Fantail, Grey Fantail (Lord Howe Island)

Daintree’s River Banana

Grey-headed Blackbird, Norfolk Island Thrush

Myriocephalus nudus

Lord Howe Thrush, Vinous-tinted Thrush

Olearia oliganthema

White-chested White-eye, Norfolk Island Silvereye

Esperance Dog Weed

Robust White-eye

Clubmoss Everlasting, Table Mountain Daisy Bush

Eastern Bettong (mainland), Eastern Rat-kangaroo

Paspalum batianoffii

Boodie (inland), Burrowing Bettong (inland)

Persoonia laxa

Brush-tailed Bettong (central and south-east), Brush-tailed Bettong (south-east mainland)

Persoonia prostrata

Desert Rat-kangaroo

Maiden’s Bush-pea

Pig-footed Bandicoot, Kanjilpa, Wilalya

Grey Groundsel

White-footed Rabbit-rat, Parroo, White-footed Tree-rat

Bridal Flower

Kuluwarri, Central Hare-wallaby

Cronin’s Tetratheca

Rufous Hare-wallaby (south-western), Woorap

Mt Holland Thomasia

Eastern Hare-wallaby

Tmesipteris lanceolata

Banded Hare-wallaby (mainland)

Trianthema cypseleoides

Lesser Stick-nest Rat,Tjooyalpi, White-tailed Stick-nest Rat

Bennett’s Seaweed

Yallara, Lesser Bilby, Djoonpi


Bramble Cay Melomys


Toolache Wallaby


Short-tailed Hopping-mouse, Yoontoo


Long-tailed Hopping-mouse, Koolawa, Talamba


Large-eared Hopping-mouse, Noompa, Big -eared Hopping-mouse


Darling Downs Hopping-mouse, Payi


Lord Howe Long-eared Bat, Lord Howe Island Bat


Crescent Nailtail Wallaby, Tjawalpa, Wurrung


Western Barred Bandicoot (eastern), Liverpool Plains Striped Bandicoot


Desert Bandicoot, Walilya


Broad-faced Potoroo, Moda


Gould’s Mouse, Koontin


Maclear’s Rat, Christmas Island Rat


Bulldog Rat, Christmas Island Burrowing Rat


Thylacine, Tasmanian Tiger


Lake Pedder Earthworm


Pedder Galaxias



Unfortunately, our rate of extinction shows no signs of slowing down. The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) recently added 7,000+ species to its Red List of Threatened Species. This list now totals 28,338, which is 27% of the species assessed and includes 501 Australian species.


These 501 Australian species face a very real risk of extinction if action is not taken to stop this crisis in its tracks. However, unlike their 92 extinct counterparts, it still isn’t too late for many of these beautiful native plants and animals.


During the final months of 2019, our federal environment legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), is up for a full review. It is critical that this review results in a strengthening of protections for our environment, instead of an erosion in favour of the big corporate donors to the political parties.


This review is an opportunity to turn things around for our native wildlife. With your support, HSI will be fighting to make sure our incredible biodiversity is preserved.


Please take action to help protect our native species from extinction. 



Erica Martin is the CEO of Humane Society International Australia. Erica joined HSI in 2017 after working for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) as the Vice President of Global Communications based in the USA. Prior to that she was the Regional Director for IFAW Asia Pacific, based in Sydney. Erica also has a wealth of experience in government relations having previously worked for the Australian Federal Government as Director of Communications for the then Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts in Canberra.


Image credit: World Life Expectancy



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