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australia / Australia's Wildlife, Biodiversity, Parks and Protected Areas

on this page: birds, headlines, recommended listening, twitter, events
related: wildlife, biodiversity, World Parks Congress, Wildlife Tourism Australia
parks: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Uluru
editing: WildOz

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Hashtag #wildoz

March 23 #NationalEucalyptDay

Maintaining Australia’s Natural Wealth Priorities for Terrestrial Conservation

It’s time for an urban revolution! It’s time to take back our streetscapes.

The environmental sustainability of protected area tourism: towards a concession-related theory of regulation
Valentina Dinica

Second Sunday in September National Bilby Day

October 22 World Wombat Day

mt-pilot-granite - @IanLuntEcology
Why is Daniel Andrews trashing Labor's legacy of national park creation? a light on Australia’s biodiversity crisis - @euanritchie1
Five places that mark Australia's extreme geological past
Why Lyreades? - @carolprobets
Ruffled feathers in battle to save night parrot - @staffo_sez
The sound of silence: why has the environment vanished from election politics
UNESCO climate change report lead author disappointed Australian content removed
Australia scrubbed from UN climate change report after government intervention
5 reasons why parks matter - @Stuff_by_Craig @CentParklands
A fine balance: saving Australia’s unique wildlife in a contested land - @TaraGMartin @ro_ponce_r

State of the Environment Report

State of the Environment Reporting
Mixed report card for environment

Spotlight: Yakka Skink


World Travel Directory

Wildlife Tourism Australia is a national organization promoting the development of a sustainable wildlife tourist industry that supports conservation. Find where to go, what to see, information on Aussie animals, advice for tourists and tour operators on treading lightly, research literature and coming events.
Blog - Facebook - WTA Wiki - wildlifetourism2015

Green Sabotage, Coal and a meeting of unlike minds, Waleed Aly and Steve Price (08.2015)

Key words: Green Sabotage, War on Greens
Australian Conservation Foundation defends environment protection act

Constraints to Threatened Plant Recovery in Commonwealth National Parks

Constraints to Threatened Plant Recovery in Commonwealth National Parks Linda Broadhurst, Bronwyn Clarke and Thekla Pleines National Research Collections Australia 28 February 2016 Department of the Environment


Australian Government: Ministers for the Environment and Energy

Feral Cats

A voyage to Terra Australis: human-mediated dispersal of cats

Name the Birds


More than 860 species have been recorded in Australia, including albatross, gannets, emu, cassowaries, parrots, eagles, owls, frogmouths, lyrebirds and bowerbirds.
Birds Australia
Atlas of Australian Birds
Bell Miner - Wikipedia - @BirdlifeOz - @BirdlifeOz -

Birds and Songbirds

Brush turkey

The Australian Bird Study Association aims to support, encourage and promote the study of Australian birds and to contribute to their conservation.

Where birdsong began - Why Australia's birds came to be so extraordinarily intelligent, aggressive, loud, long-lived, and how Australia was the source for the majority of the world's songbirds.

Tim Low - Naturalist Tim Low says Australian birds are noisier, more aggressive and more intelligent than in any other country in the world.

Birdland - What birds mean to Australians... and how we'd feel if they were gone. A unique collaboration between ABC Radio National and its listeners, brings you Birdland.

Bell Miner Associated Dieback occurs through sclerophyll forests on public and private lands in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. These forests are regionally important for plant and animal conservation, water catchment management, tourism and the production of honey and timber. This form of dieback is of national significance as it is spreading through forest ecosystems in eastern Australia.


Spotlight: Total Environment Center - @angel4green
Environmental groups fear 20 per cent of open space will be lost in NSW - @LucyCormack
also see: urban sanctuary

Threatened Species

Australia’s first Threatened Species Commissioner was appointed in July 2014 to bring a new national focus and effort to secure our threatened flora and fauna. Gregory Andrews, part of the senior executive team in Australia’s Department of the Environment, took up the role, with support from a threatened species unit and an informal group of expert advisers. The Commissioner’s report on his first six months in the job outlines achievements in: growing community awareness and support; drawing attention to the threat of feral cats; and investing in threatened species conservation projects. It also highlights key findings and future directions.

How to defend your urban sanctuary @angel4green


This land is cursed; the animals hop not run, birds run, not fly and the swans are black not white.
- Dirk Hartog (1688)

We do not accept the description of protected areas as being ‘locked up’, which implies that the only beneficial
use of land or ocean is for the extraction of commodities. It ignores the reality that protected intact ecosystems
are highly productive of multiple benefits. It also leads to the erroneous view that protected areas exclude people.
With well over 100 million visits a year, protected areas in fact ‘open up’ access to land for healthy recreation.
Importantly Indigenous Protected Areas also get Traditional Owners back on their country as well as generating
significant employment and measurable improvements to community health and well-being – vital national goals.

A key benefit of healthy, thriving nature is the multi-billion dollar tourism industry with international nature
tourism responsible for $19.5 billion in foreign exchange and strong employment, particularly in regional
Australia...The Australian Alps skiing and mountain based tourism industry contributes at least $280 million per
year while tourism in the Great Barrier Reef creates over $5 billion in economic activity.


October 20 Recapping Australia's #WildlifeTourism2015 Conference

Related Hangouts
March 2015:
May 2015:

Parks Australia

Parks Australia



Parks Australia
Wildlife Tourism Australia
Protect the Bush Alliance
Australian Marine Conservation Society



Parks Australia
Black Diamond Images
Australia 2012 - Greg Johnson

Flickr Groups

Identifying Australian Rainforest Plants - Main Database Index
Australia Natural
Ecotourism Oceania
Marsupials and Monotremes
Parks Australia


WildOZ Twitter
Wildlife Tourism Australia


Elsewhere - @ultimatemegs - -

Twitter Hashtag


Wild Australia on Twitter #ff #wildoz @ProfTerryHughes @jones_ann @ABCenvironment @StevenJMiles @NACC_NRM @Parks_Australia @Wilderness_Aus @EnviroVic @ConservationSA @ChristineMilne @nrsamdb @BirdlifeOz


Drop bear


The Wilderness Society
BirdLife Australia

The Conversation

unknown wonders: Australia is famous for its natural beauty: the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Kakadu, the Kimberley. But what about the places almost no one goes? We asked ecologists, biologists and wildlife researchers…

Unknown wonders: Christmas Island - John Woinarski, Charles Darwin University
Unknown wonders: Wolfe Creek Crater - Kenneth McNamara, University of Cambridge
Unknown wonders: Riversleigh - Kylie Williams
Unknown wonders:Barmah-Millewaforest - Susan Lawler, La Trobe University
Unknown wonders: KatiThanda-Lake Eyre - Fran Sheldon, Griffith University and Richard Kingsford
National parks are the least locked up land there is


- read
Read the FULL REPORT – The Australia We Love – a Comprehensive Survey of Australia’s Natural Systems PDF – 12.7MB)

Australia's Biodiversity

Australia has 7% of the world's biodiversity.

Each September Australia celebrates Biodiversity Month which aims to promote the importance of protecting, conserving and improving biodiversity both within Australia and across the world.

Over 80% of its mammals are endemic - that is. found nowhere else in the world. Around half of the mammals are marsupials, mostly belonging to families found nowhere else (a few are found also in New Guinea, and the extreme eastern parts of Indonesia: the opossums of the Americas are in a totally different marsupial family).

Most songbird families found here are primarily Australian, often extending into New Guinea, the Pacific and Indonesia but quite different from Northern Hemisphere families. Several are found only in Australia or only in Australia and New Guinea.
Likewise there are many unique species amongst our retiles, frogs, fish and invertebrates.

Protection of Australia's Biodiversity
Some 900,000 square kilometers is under some form of protected area status. There are still many ecosystems and species under threat, both within and outside of the protected areas.

Out of 20 threatened ecosystems around the world, 8 are in Australia

Overview of Australian wildlife

Wildlife Tourism Australia gives an overview of Australia's marsupials, other mammals, birds, re[tiles, fogs, fish and invertebrates on

Basically, our native vertebrate wildlife includes:
  • Mammals - (1) monotremes (egg-layng mammals, now found only in Australia and New Guinea), (2) marsupials (koalas, kangaroos, possums, wombats, Tasmanian devils etc.: about half our mammal species belong to this group, and we have a far greater number of species and diversity of form than any other country) and (3) placentals (mostly rodents and bats, plus a few marine mammals - the dingo was introduced by humans abut 3000 years ago and we have no truly native dogs, nor do we have any native bears, cats, monkeys, rabbits or hoofed animals)
  • Birds - despite mis-leading common names such as 'robin' and 'wren', most of our songbirds belong to families not found in other continents, and include the world's best mimics the lyrebirds, four birds of paradise, bowerbirds, the beautiful little fairy-wrens and many more. Most of the world's cockatoos are Australian, we have two ratites (emu and cassowary), magpie -goose' (not really a goose although in a related family, with an S-bend in its trachea that enables a loud booming noise), malleefowl, brush 'turkey' (which, like the malleefowl, incubates its eggs in mounds of decaying leaves, and is not really a turkey although somewhat related), we share with South America a proliferation of colourful parrots, and of course here is the famous laughing kookaburra, amongst many others
  • Reptiles - crocodiles (2 species, one of which is unique to Australia), turtles (both marine and freshwater),lizards (dragons, skinks, geckos, flap-footed lizards and monitors) and snakes (including several of the world's most venomous species but also many that are harmless or virtually so)
  • Amphibians (frogs only - no newts or salamanders, and the only true toads here are the invasive cane toads introduced several decades ago)
  • Fish - very diverse amongst coral reefs, other intriguing species such as leafy sea dragon in southern marine waters, freshwater fish not as diverse but including some interesting ones such as lungfish and archerfish (neither of these two groups is unique to Australia)


Biodiversity and Climate Change

The implications of climate change for Australia's biodiversity conservation and protected areas
Scientists predict major changes to biodiversity - Bush Telegraph
Climate change requires national parks rethink
Australia marine reserves network proposal 2012

Marine Reserves

Review of Australia's marine reserves recommends winding back protections -
Marine parks plans fail to calm waters
Burke announces world's largest marine reserve network
Review of Australia's marine protected areas set to be released

A review of Australia's marine protected areas started under former Prime Minister Tony Abbott is complete and due for release in coming months.

Marine Biodiversity


Australia's Wild Habitats
Radio: A Question of Balance
Forests of eastern Australia are the world’s newest biodiversity hotspot

National Park Associations

Friends of Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary
We are about protecting and preserving the indigenous flora & fauna and natural features of Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary (ERMS). We aim to increase understanding about the role and values of the Sanctuary, fostering community involvement and enjoyment through in field- experiences and knowledge sharing.

Recommended Viewing

Australia's New Extinction Crisis - Tim Flannery shows that Australia is now on the brink of a new wave of extinctions, which threatens to leave our national parks as “marsupial ghost towns.” Why are species becoming extinct despite the tens of millions of dollars being spent to protect nature? And what more should be done? Flannery discusses his essay with Nick Feik.

Recommended Listening

If you're not listening to this already, make it part of your #biodiversity playlist with @jones_ann

Flying for your life - Every year, millions of birds make a monumental journey between their breeding grounds in Arctic tundra and their wintering grounds in Australasia. But shorebird populations are plummeting, with seven of Australia's 37 migratory waders on the Commonwealth threatened species list. In this four-part series, Off Track takes you further than it ever has gone before to find out why. @jones_ann

Fraser Island marks 25 years as world heritage site

Thursday 7 December 2017
Beach at Fraser Island
Beach at Fraser Island

It has been a quarter of a century since the world's largest sand island was listed on the World Heritage register.

Geoff Mosley: a life for the environment

Geoff Mosley, the former director of the Australian Conservation Foundation, is one of the most significant figures of the environment movement in Australia. World heritage status of the Great Barrier Reef, recognition of the Alpine National Parks, preservation of Fraser Island - his achievements are many. And on Big Ideas he reflects on the history of conservation in Australia.

Our national parks need protection

Sunday 5 November 2017
The ability of national parks to protect our natural heritage is being eroded, Carolyn Pettigrew says.

Threatened species - If there was an Ark for Australia's most endangered species, what animals and plants would get a berth?

Listening to nature - Animal sounds and bird song have adapted to specific environments and habitats, but the use of sound has in turn shaped the evolution of different species. And that includes homo sapiens. Sound has formed us as social and cultural ‘animals’.

Neglecting the natives for fashionable fauna - Do Australians have a blind spot when it comes to protecting our own wildlife?

Survival of the cheapest - As nature is dying a death of a thousand cuts, how do we save what’s left? A panel of conservation experts consider the options.

Minute 27:25 Spending by tourists who visit national parks in Australia is 24 billion/year. Just the GST on that spending is more than what all government pays for protected areas
Minute 32:00 Citizen Science

Bush Telegraph takes an in-depth look at the state of national parks in 2014, what they contribute to public life and health, how they are impacting farming, whether we should commercialise them or if privately-funded parks are the answer to our country's conservation effort.

Health sector the future for parks funding - Calculating the health benefit of visiting National Parks could help generate new funding for public land.
Monday 10 November 2014

Farmer says public don't know reality of national parks - Grazier says under-resourced parks are not fulfilling environmental objectives and increasing fire risk. Tuesday 11 November 2014

Should national parks sell out to cash in? - Are commercial ventures such as logging or big tourism a good way to keep national parks functioning? Or is it more trouble than it's worth. Wednesday 12 November 2014

Funding for private conservation parks is slowing down - Nature Conservancy says a rethink of Australia's conservation funding is needed.
Thursday 13 November 2014

Research links parks to major health benefits - Findings come at a time when Australia's national parks face criticism for being under resourced.
Friday 14 November 2014

The endangered bunyip bird boom - The Australasian Bittern makes a haunting sound like someone blowing across the top of an empty beer bottle, except it is amplified so much that it reverberates out of the swamp and right across the countryside. - @jones_ann

What lies beyond us? The literature of landscape - How have Australian writers, both past and present, interpreted and drawn meaning from our natural surroundings?

VIBs. Very Important Bandicoots - The released animals sprint out of the box so quickly that you barely get to see them, you just glimpse a stripy rump disappearing into a tussock.

One of our most obscure animals is on the verge of extinction - The collapse of one of Australia's greatest conservation success stories.

The trouble with offsets - Environmental offsets are supposed to compensate for ecosystems and biodiversity that are bulldozed to make way for development. But there’s mounting evidence the policy is being subverted, as governments approve controversial offsets across Australia. Di Martin investigates.

Bushwalking conservation (March 2014) - Last week, the Prime Minister Tony Abbott made it clear that he thought too much forest was 'locked up' in Australia's national parks.

Bird Interrupted - Recording birds in the wild has been called a kind of ‘benign hunting’, and enthusiasts often say their favourite bird is the next, the one that they haven’t seen or heard yet. But for Hollis Taylor, zoömusicologist, musician and composer, it’s not the next bird or the last, it’s the bird, the pied butcherbird.

Government reviews marine parks - Boundaries of marine parks won't change but activities within them may.

The state and future of Australia's temperate reefs

Paradise lost: Australia's heritage jewels under threat - Two of Australia’s world heritage wonders—the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics—are at risk of being declared ‘in danger’. Both are threatened by climate and development pressures and as Sarah Dingle discovers, the Wet Tropics is suffering from years of government neglect.

Coalition to "stop" marine parks - The Coalition will stop the 2.3 million square kilometres of marine parks proposed by the ALP

Managing National Parks - Some states are arguing for more commercial activity within National Parks

New Earth: art and geology in colonial Australia - Until the early 19th century the great 'southern' continent had aroused very little interest – scientifically or in paint. Many saw it as 'wanting' in relation to the beauty and excitement of Europe. This 'colonial' attitude began to shift in the early 19th century with the arrival of an English clergyman-geologist WB Clarke and the Austrian-born painter Eugene von Guérard. Both men were captivated by the new science of geology and the uniqueness of the Australian landscape.

Australia's extinction crisis - Tim Flannery investigates Australia's efforts to protect its endangered species from extinction and comes away dismayed at the haphazard and ineffectual efforts that have been made so far.

The curious minds who made our science Australian - Peter Macinnis from Sydney is the author of a book titled Curious Minds - The Discoveries of Australian Naturalists. In this book he looks at the long line of naturalists who have traversed Australia in search of new plants and animals.

Hunters, fishers and environmentalists battle for the wilderness - For more than forty years, Australia rolled out national parks and more recently wilderness areas to protect both species and ecosystems. Along the way, wilderness became the holy grail for Australia's environmentalists. Now, conservation protected areas, including wilderness, are under attack. State governments are considering 'unlocking' environmental assets for grazing, tourism, timber-getting and -- most controversially -- hunting.

Oh, there's a platypus - A decade of drought in Victoria had a severe impact on platypus numbers, with many populations stranded from breeding stock in connecting river systems. Joel Werner travelled to Olinda Creek, and found that trapping the elusive animals is just as difficult as working out how to protect them.

Agenda 2012 - Australia will have a carbon price kicking in from July, we’ll have our first utility-scale solar energy plant up and running in Western Australia, and two more electric cars will hit the market.

Biodiversity - The record in Australia isn't good. Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world. So what are we doing wrong? What should we be doing to protect Australia's special animals and plant life?

A walk in the park - and so much more! - Some good news about the environment: the number of national parks and protected areas in the world is on the increase. In this program we look at how governments and researchers are rethinking the world's protected areas. We also broaden out and examine a project in Western Australia which seeks to strengthen ecosystem management worldwide.

Coral Sea Marine Park - Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has bookmarked the nearly one million square kilometre Coral Sea as a potential marine protection zone. However, he's ruled out establishing a single large no-take area, quashing hopes of environmental groups for the creation of the world's biggest marine park. So just what area should a Coral Sea Marine Park cover? What form and level of protection would be appropriate? And what are the implications for those who use the sea?

Grevillea 'Robyn Gordon' - Grevillea 'Robyn Gordon' is one of the best known Australian natives. Its spidery red flowers are found in gardens and on nature strips around the country. In the 1940s the late David Gordon annexed part of his sheep property, Myall Park in southern central Queensland, and began planting what is now a 132 hectare native garden.

Tiny blooms: painting Australia's wildflowers - Gardens, flowers and the creative process—today we explore all three as we meet flower painter Christine Johnson, and follow the threads of inspiration leading to a new art exhibition entirely of Australian native flowers.

Australia's rivers: An environmental assessment - Professor Richard Kingsford delivers the 2012 Eric Rolls lecture and offers an environmental assessment of the current state of the Murray -Darling basin, the Paroo river, Lake Eyre and the tropical rivers in northern Australia. -
prepare yourself for a potential pecking by the Cracticus tibicen (Tibicin is Latin for flute –player or piper in reference to the birds melodious call) ....that is the black and white bird that is native to Australia and southern New Guinea.

Buzzword Bingo

Fluker Post - Koala - Kookaburra
Buzzword Bingo: Fluker Post = Community-based environmental monitoring @FlukerPost

New: Bush Heritage Australia - -

Tourism Campaigns
Tourism in national parks
The Boobook declaration

Enviro legislation set to go strategic - Australia's single most important piece of environmental legislation, the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, is about to be re-vamped and dragged into the 21st century.

Australia's latest mammal extinction - the pipistrelle

How the wattle got its name
Naming Australian native animals

Cave painting helps date Australia's extinct megafauna

Bogong Moth Sculpture - Museum of Australia



October 22 is World Wombat Day -



Imagine coming across a kangaroo three times the size of the great Red of today? Or how about a wombat the size of a small car? Did you see that two tonne hippo splashing about with the 500 kilogram Lord Howe Horned Tortoise?


Mammals - kangaroos and wallabies, koalas, wombats, bilbies, Tasmanian devils

A quarter of Australia's mammal species are rodents.


Marsupials are the group of mammals commonly thought of as pouched mammals
The only marsupial native to North America is the Virginia opossum.

Australia has four species of quoll: the spotted-tailed, the northern, eastern and western quoll. The spotted-tailed quoll and the smaller northern quoll are both found in Queensland. Spotted-tailed quolls are Australia’s largest native marsupial carnivore. Quoll Seekers Network (QSN) was established to raise community awareness of quolls in Queensland, gather information on quoll populations, and to help people enjoy living alongside quolls.

Tiger Quoll


Bandicoots were once widespread across grasslands and grassy woodlands of western Victoria and South Australia. By 1991, the subspecies was on the brink of extinction, primarily due to habitat loss and predation by introduced foxes and cats.



Tailless nocturnal marsupial of Australia; this solitary tree-dweller lives in eucalyptus forests and feeds on the tree’s leaves. -
That's no lion madam, that's the bellow of a randy koala
Carnivorous Koala drops surprising bear tale on the unsuspecting
The Great Koala Count


Their long tails and strong bodies make balancing on rocky outcrops and ledges a breeze. (Photo)


The platypus is native to eastern Australia, including Tasmania, and is extinct in South Australia. The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is a semi-aquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australia from North Queensland to Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young.

Platypus - Wikipedia
Platypus - Evolution and Conservation
How to spot a platypus

Tasmanian tiger
The Thylacine Museum


Echidnas' unusual mating habits revealed
Tasmanian researchers have discovered echidnas have some unusual mating practices, including engaging in group sex. Male echidnas competing for a lower number of reproductive female echidnas may even resort to tackling a partner while she's hibernating.
E is for Echidna - Flickr

Piggy the puggle born on Gold Coast

Saving the bilby is one of the most delicious things to do. Australian chocolate manufacturer and retailer Darrell Lea has been making chocolate Easter bilbies since 1994.
National Bilby Day is the second Sunday in September.
Bilby Summit -

Bats (Flying Foxes)

flying foxes (fruitbats)
Grey-headed Flying Fox - Wikipedia


Beautiful beetles


Reptiles - crocodiles snakes lizards turtles frogs

Salt-water crocs ('Salties) of the Northern Territory are the largest of all living reptiles


Sand Goanna .... Gould's Monitor Lizard... or 'Galawan' in Gundjeihmi language

Lace monitor

A vulnerability assessment for the Great Barrier Reef: Dugongs
Shipping, nets, hunting remain poorly regulated, driving dugong to extinction, >95% decline in 40years on 2/3 of Barrier Reef


whale sharks coral reef fish seahorses leafy sea dragon, rays (stingrays or manta rays)

Invertebrates - butterflies, glow worms, crabs and coral

The Yabby is a small freshwater crayfish endemic to South Eastern Australia.



Mating habits of the spotted tree frog all too familiar


Tales of Horses and Humans - A horsey Australia Day special. The horse plays a significant part in our national story. There are the stockmen – both indigenous and settler; the Light Horse Brigade; the Melbourne Cup; the Man from Snowy River; and Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby children’s novels.


The whale shark has been described as the gentle giant of the sea. It's the largest of all the sharks, in fact the largest of all fish, but it poses no threat to humans, feeding only on small organisms. In recent years the whale sharks has become threatened. Now researchers at the Ningaloo Marine Park along the coast of Western Australia have used quite mind-boggling technology to help count whale shark numbers - and the results are promising. For more information or if you have a picture of a whaleshark to submit go to:


Australia has roughly 4,000 species of ants
Green Ants


There's something about eels - The eel has an image problem – an unsavoury reputation that arises perhaps in part from the false notion that they feed on rotting corpses – yet eels are one of the human race's survival foods and they feature in mythology and creation stories throughout the ages. There's Something About Eels combines science, literature, history, anecdote and culinary art to present a radio portrait of this most maligned, misunderstood and unusual creature. listen | download (40.1MB)

Seafood Industry Victoria
Australian Museum: Fishes
Decoding Mysterious Glass Eels


Mapping feral animals

Australia has more endangered species than any other country. In fact, Australia has lost more than 50 species since European settlement.

With the exception of the dingo, Australia has no large, land-based carnivores. Consequently, many native birds and mammals were devastated by introduced species, particularly dogs, cats and foxes. Said one conservationist: "Foxes are hunted in England because they are a pest, so what did the colonists do but bring foxes to Australia so they could hunt them!"

No widespread pest problem has ever been eradicated.


In the late 1800s a rabbit plague was sweeping through the Australian colonies, ravaging new farms and threatening to cripple the fledgling colonial governments.
Rabbits in Australia
'Rabbitscan' is launched as part of a feral map


The cane toad, native to Central and South America, has invaded Australia by the millions since it was introduced on to properties near Cairns in 1935 as an unsuccessful biological control measure against the cane beetle.



Getting to know the dingo
Dingoes and ecology
Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Research Centre
Iconic animals - the dingo
Dingoes display 'unbelievable intelligence'
Are dingoes native to Australia? Bandicoots answer the question

Gould Group

Bush Telegraph: The Gould League, now known as the Gould Group, was behind one of the first environmental campaigns waged in Australia, and next year it celebrates its 100th birthday. Formed in 1909 and named after John Gould, a well known naturalist, the league was set up in an attempt to save Australia's native bird species from the hobby of bird egg collection, the fashion of bird feathers, and general disregard for their habitats. School students from around the country were encouraged to join the league and take the Bird Lovers' Pledge: "I hereby promise that I will protect native birds and will not collect their eggs. I also promise that I will endeavour to prevent others from injuring native birds and destroying their eggs".




Tourism and Wildlife


Australia’s Virtual Herbarium

kangaroo grass

Invasive Flora: Prickly Pear

Elsewhere on the Web

Birds Australia
Wildlife Australia - Facebook
Australian Wildlife Service
Australia Wildlife Conservancy Sanctuaries
Australian Wildlife Conservancy
Australian Wildlife Conservancy
Diana Fisher - @RedmapMarine

ABC PM - Rumours of species extinction exaggerated
Australian Government - Conservation of Australia's biodiversity
WWF Australia - Species
WLT Australia is a network of private lands providing habitat for native species. Showcasing wildlife, conservation and ecology news. Program of @hsi_australia - @traill1 - @GreeningAust


Australian Animals Care and Education - @EnviroStories

Commonwealth National Parks

Kakadu National Park
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Booderee National Park
Norfolk Island National Park
Christmas Island National Park
Pulu Keeling National Park

Australian Alps National Park

The National Reserve System - Australia's network of parks, reserves and protected areas - is a vital part of our national effort to conserve biodiversity. It protects examples of Australia's distinctive landscapes, plants and animals for future generations, and is often referred to as nature's safety net in the face of climate change. The Australian Government is investing $180 million over five years to accelerate development of the National Reserve System. This is one of the six national priorities of the Government's $2.25 billion initiative Caring for our Country.

There are eleven national parks and reserves in the Australian Alps that cross State and Territory borders. These parks and reserves are collectively known as the Australian Alps national parks


Warrumbungle National Park

Nuytsia floribunda (Christmas Tree)
Bauhinia cunninghamii (Jigal Tree)
Eucalypts: A celebration

Eucalyptus - Mapping the Genome of the world's favourite tree
The genome of the world's favourite tree - the eucalyptus has been mapped.

Desert palms 'not so ancient after all'
Australian scientists say an often-told tourist story about how an iconic Central Australia palm came to be is nothing but a lovely myth.

Waddi tree - On the fringes of the Simpson Desert, separated by hundreds of kilometres, are three stands of Waddi trees which are a miracle of arid zone botany. Jacqueline Hodder from the University of Melbourne tells the story of this remarkable tree which grows up to 18 metres.

The name Eucalyptus means “well-covered”, referring to the little cap that pops off when the flower opens.

Desert Palms

Quandong is Santalum acuminatum

Boobook Declaration

The Boobook or 'mopoke' is the smallest and most abundant of Australia's owls, living in all types of country where suitable nesting hollows exist. The call of the boobook has been adopted as a symbol of the 'Boobook Declaration', a call to action for biodiversity in Australia and our region.



gazettal of Acacia pycnantha as Australia's National Floral Emblem
Golden Wattle has been grown in temperate regions around the world for the tannin in its bark, which provides the highest yield of all the wattles.
Golden Wattle
national emblem, Acacia pycnantha, green and gold
there were thought to be roughly 1300 species of acacia worldwide, about 960 of them native to Australia,


Australian Heritage Database



Royal National Park NSW
Kakadu National Park
Alice Springs Desert Park
Grampians National Park
Parks Australia


The Wilderness Society

Google+ Hangouts

Explore Australia's Wildlife, Biodiversity and Parks in this online hangout, Monday Jan 27 4pm PST in Las Vegas and Tuesday Jan 28 11am AEDT in Sydney and 10am Brisbane. Here's the event's Google+ page:

This dates back to 1879 with the creation of Royal National Park (Australia's first national park and the world's second). While America, Canada and New Zealand were each creating vast, remote parks, Australia's first parks (Royal and Ku-ring-gai Chase in Sydney, and Belair in Adelaide) were smaller and near urban areas, providing easy access to nature.

Read more:

There are eleven national parks and reserves in the Australian Alps that cross State and Territory borders. These parks and reserves are collectively known as the Australian Alps national parks

The government has announced a 25% expansion of the land held in national parks and nature reserves. So what does an extra 25 percent of national parks do to turn around our poor record on habitat, biodiversity and species preservation?
To tease all that, with me is the rural landscapes coordinator with the Australian Conservation Foundation is Corey Watts...
While the Australian Conservation Foundation supports the government committment it says more needs to be done. "About $8 million on average was spent annually by the Commonwealth over the last decade in purchasing new protected areas. Experts believe at least $50 million a year over the next five years is needed."
Australia has more than 7,000 protected areas, including national parks and world heritage areas and a brand-new geopark.

The Australian Government, through Parks Australia, manages Commonwealth parks and reserves. These include areas located on Australian island territories and in Commonwealth waters. The majority of parks and reserves across Australia are managed by State and Territory Governments protected area management agencies. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is managed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

The Australian Conservation Foundation is committed to inspiring people to achieve a healthy environment for all Australians. For over 40 years we have been a strong voice for the environment, promoting solutions through research, consultation, education and partnerships. We work with the community, business and government to protect, restore and sustain our environment.

Parks and Reserves - Environment Australia

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999)

The Australian Environment Act: Report of the Independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999


Biodiversity Summit


April Australian Heritage Week is an annual national celebration of Australia’s unique heritage. It is an opportunity for all Australians to join together to celebrate our shared and special heritage.

Biodiversity Summit

The Biodiversity Summit 2009 takes place in the midst of important national and international processes including –
o National Biodiversity Strategy. The draft has attracted scathing criticism for being vague and ill-informed. The final version is due November 2009.

o Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act review. The EPBC Act is Australia’s national biodiversity legislation. The Act requires a 10-year independent review and the review panel is due to present its interim report in late June 2009, followed by a 5-6 week comment period. The final report is due in October 2009.

Review of the National Biodiversity Strategy

Public submissions on the draft Australia's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010-2020 have now closed.

order printed copy)


The Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council , on behalf of the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments, invited public comments on the draft Australia's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010-2020.
The draft strategy is an important national policy document that will guide how governments, the community, industry and scientists manage and protect Australia's plants, animals and ecosystems over the next ten years.
The consultation draft of Australia's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy has been developed collaboratively by all State and Territory governments and the Australian Government, with advice from the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.
The consultation draft has been developed to replace the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity, which was agreed in 1996.

Biodiversity and Climate Change
Department of Climate Change
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
10th International Ecology Congress, INTECOL
Australian Biodiversity Information Facility
Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change, James Cook University
National Climate Change Adaptation Research Network

Atlas of Living Australia

Atlas of Living Australia



UNESCO has launched the International Network of Geoparks programme. This programme has the dual objective of enhancing the value of sites, which act as key witnesses to the Earth's history whilst creating employment and promoting regional economic development. A new internationally recognized label 'UNESCO Geopark', destined to become synonymous to environmental protection and development, will be awarded each year to some twenty territories which merit this distinction distributed all over the world. Eventually, up to 500 Geoparks will be recognized worldwide. The Division of Earth Sciences of UNESCO, after working with the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and governmental institutions, has taken the initiative to put together and coordinate national and international efforts, which deal with geoconservation, 'geotopes', 'geosites' or general geological heritage. The resulting Geopark Programme will operate in synergy with UNESCO's World Heritage Centre and Man and the Biosphere (MAB) World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

A UNESCO Geopark:

Is a territory encompassing one or more sites of scientific importance, not only for geological reasons but also by virtue of its archaeological, ecological or cultural value;

Will have a management plan designed to foster socio-economic development that is sustainable (most likely to be based on geotourism);

Will demonstrate methods for conserving and enhancing geological heritage and provide means for teaching geoscientific disciplines and broader environmental issues;

Will be proposed by public authorities, local communities and private interests acting together;

Will be part of a global network, which will demonstrate and share best practices with respect to Earth heritage conservation and its integration into sustainable development strategies.

Conservation Planning Group
Twitter: Follow #ConsPlan

@Lepidochelys_ (Mélanie Hamel)
@RebeccaWeeks (Rebecca Weeks)
@Fuentes_MMPB (Mariana Fuentes)
[|@AlanaMGrech]] (Alana Grech)
@BobPressey (Bob Pressey)
@adriana_chac (Adriana Chacón)
@CraigieIan (Ian Craigie)

The Conservation Planning Group


No other continent is as characterised by a single genus of tree as Australia is by the eucalyptus. And no other tree has been so significant culturally and economically to the people who live here: gum trees are used to make everything from the didgeridoo to mosquito repellent to paper.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Headlines 2015 - @ultimatemegs
NSW Government rolls out final GPS collars in Southern Highlands koala conservation program
As sure as one and one is two, we need to monitor Australian ecosystems - @ABCenvironment @Wilderness_Aus
Fact check: Does Australia have one of the 'highest loss of species anywhere in the world'?
Environmental groups fear 20 per cent of open space will be lost in NSW - @LucyCormack -@GuardianAus
Mourn our lost mammals, while helping the survivors battle back
Australian Life
World Heritage Committee renews criticism of Tasmanian Government's forests plan
The mammals of Victoria, Australia - Echidna Walkabout - @EchidnaW - @EricTlozek
Victorian state emblem Leadbeater's possum pushed closer to extinction - @aruptom
Greg Hunt's hostile attack on the environment
An armchair tour of Australia’s ecosystems - @TERN_Aus @petescarth
We have more parks than ever, so why is wildlife still vanishing?
Australia's environment is 'going backwards', green alliance says - @p_hannam
Australia's great natural secret comes out of hiding
'Ashamed to be Australian': 2014 Man Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan hits out at Abbott government's environment policies
Marine reserves ditched despite tide of research
Marine reserves review: Coalition says recreational fishers have been left out
Australian World Heritage: keeping the outstanding exceptional - @tropicbiocon
Unesco to rule on Tasmania forest and Great Barrier Reef
World Environment Day in Australia
Senate inquiry urges Coalition to drop plans to delisting Tasmania's World Heritage Area
Litany of deep cuts for environmental programs
Abbott government's attack on the environment
Scientists resign 'living dead' species to extinction, call for triage debate
WCPA appeals to Prime Minister to Reverse Conservation Retreat
Retreat on protected areas unfortunate: experts
World Heritage advisor alarmed by plan to delist Tasmanian forests
Coca-Cola Amatil accused of draining Springbrook National Park on the Gold Coast
The ultimate conservationist? The looming crisis for the Abbott government
No more national parks as Tony Abbott pledges to support loggers as the 'ultimate conservationists'
Snake eats crocodile
Explainer: why is World Heritage important?
Liberals to open Tasmania's national parks to developers
National parks aren't your personal playground
A reef already under stress - @joelwerner
Is Tony Abbott's Australian administration the most hostile to his nation's environment in history?
Great Barrier Reef not in danger, says government report to United Nations
Australia: Tourism operators may sue Barrier Reef body over dumping approval
Great Barrier Reef decision is a U-turn to an inglorious past
Park ecotourism proposals move to next stag
Coalition takes first steps to scrap Labor's marine parks management plans
Development likely along Great Ocean Road
NSW National parks open to shooters named
Logging in a World Heritage-listed forest emerges as an election issue
Former premiers unite to save national parks
Priorities askew when parks get pushed aside
NSW cleaner and greener but weeds are on the rise
New South Wales State of the Environment 2012
National park controlled burns, grazing debate reignited
Is nature-based tourism development really what our national parks need? - Sue Beeton
NSW national parks hunting bill introduced
'National' parks are national in name only - Matt Ruchel
Our national parks must be more than playgrounds or paddocks
Our national parks need visitors to survive

Spotlight: VicNature 2050


Draft Queensland Ecotourism Plan 2013-2020

The Queensland Ecotourism Plan (draft for consulation) 2013 – 2020__ (PDF, 1.9M)* (‘the Plan’) has been released for comment, with the vision to make the state the number one destination in Australia and a world leader in ecotourism.

The Plan comes out of the inaugural Destination Q workshop held in Cairns in June 2012 and recognises that Queensland’s greatest competitive advantage is nature-based tourism in a unique environment. The Plan has a number of specific actions for development, such as delivery of a 20 year strategic plan for Queensland tourism, reducing red tape, improving decision making and government support, facilitating new investment, and improving tourism skills.

Final report (PDF)

Australian World Heritage: keeping the outstanding exceptional

On March 12, 114 Australian experts from the world’s leading protected area organisation, the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbot urging the Australian government to take a path of leadership on nature conservation. Full text:

Questions: Was there an official reply? What do the Australian members of the WCPA expect to come out of the World Parks Congress?

Queensland Ecotourism plan (draft for consultation) 2013-2020
Queensland Ecotourism Plan

Trivia: The emu and kangaroo are animals which cannot walk backwards. They are featured on the Australian coat-of-arms, symbolizing forward progress.


Admittedly this page is an information dump. Editors, please help us create this guide to Australian flora and fauna and the country's parks and protected areas

Embedded Tweets

Australia Travel Hangout 01.2014


Do we understand the troubles the reef faces? The answer is 'no' though documentaries like this might change the response before it is too late.

Battle for the Reef

Do we understand the troubles the reef faces? The answer is 'no' though documentaries like this might change the response before it is too late.

We have been curating headlines and reports from the Great Barrier Reef on the Planeta Wiki since the dredging plan was approved in January as part of a larger effort to document Australia's biodiversity and parks and wildlife.

This story is one of many that show the change of position in Australia's government and it's drawing attention from around the world. Just this week the LA Times writes that Australian Premier Tony Abbott under fire as 'environmental vandal'.

It's not just foreigners critical of current conservation strategies. There has been an appeal by Australian WCPA members to the Prime Minister to Reverse Conservation Retreat with no discernible response.

Looking ahead, Australia hosts the World Parks Congress this November. Closer to the event I expect an increase in coverage about the island continent.

Next year the Great Barrier Reef could be on Unesco danger list. Will Australia's efforts be called to task as they were at the World Heritage Committee Meeting 38? Stay tuned.

Recent Events

July 16 Threatened Species Summit +
Hashtag: #TSsummit
On Thursday 16 July 2015, the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, will host the Threatened Species Summit. The summit will be chaired by the Threatened Species Commissioner, Mr Gregory Andrews. The summit will reinforce the new national focus on threatened species since the Government appointed the Threatened Species Commissioner. Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, will launch a Threatened Species Strategy at the summit. For the first time ever, threatened species will have an Australian Government policy framework with hard and measurable targets.
Attendance at the summit venue will be by invitation with a live webcast so that anyone in the community can participate and interact.

November 2014 World Parks Congress (Sydney)

September 29 - October 2Wildlife Tourism: a Force for Biodiversity Conservation and Local Economies? (Geelong, Victoria);
hashtag: #wildlifeTourism2015

Question: How has wildlife tourism in Australia changed in the past 20 years?

Question: What's on the wishlist of wildlife tourism operators in Australia?

Question: What are Australian examples of tourism services which are a force for biodiversity conservation and local economies?

6th National Wilderness Conference, Sydney, 21-23 September

Great Southern Reef - @AridRecovery


New: Parrots v Possums

Australia has approx. 5,000 #PrivatelyProtectedAreas covering 8.9million ha, growth in this area since 2000

Buying Australian Plants in the USA


Great Barrier Reef
Uluru-Kata Tjuta