Fauna at risk
While still existing in other parts of WA, the Bilby: a charismatic marsupial distinguished by its “bunny-like ears”, has sadly been lost from the SWCC Region forever and more threatened species are at risk of being lost.
There are 2,203*(Ala.org.au, 2018) fauna species in the SWCC Region, 58 of which are threatened, seven are extinct, and two are locally extinct (DBCA, 2018). Four of the 58 threatened species are facing a very high chance of extinction in the wild i.e: ranked as critically endangered(DBCA, 2018). Since 2001, fauna species listed as threatened have increased by 76% (from 33-58) **(DBCA, 2018).
Different animals are threatened by different impacts and pressures. Australian mammals have suffered an exceptionally high rate of decline and extinction over the last two hundred years. Since 2001, the number of threatened mammals in the SWCC Region has increased by 22% **(DBCA, 2018). One of our Region’s charismatic threatened mammals is the Western Ringtail Possum. Classified as critically endangered, the Western Ringtail Possum faces increasing threats from habitat clearing, habitat fragmentation and predation by feral and domestic animals.
There has been a 69% increase in threatened birds since 2001**(DBCA, 2018). Land based birds face threats from predation, habitat loss and wildfire, while marine based birds may be more impacted by climate change and ocean plastics.
Climate change threatens most species as temperatures and rainfall are rapidly changing, increasing extreme events such a wildfire and droughts, reducing aquifer recharge and drying aquatic habitats.
While threatened amphibians in the SWCC Region have not increased since 2001 there has been a 500% increase in threatened fish species and 700% increase in threatened invertebrates**(DBCA, 2018).
Calls to action:
- Protect vegetation and other forms of habitat for threatened and other fauna
- Undertake feral animal control to protect wildlife
- Reduce plastic use or go plastic-free to reduce ocean plastics from impacting marine animals
- Sign up for free to Land for Wildlife if you own a property and want to provide habitat for wildlife
- Report sightings of threatened and priority fauna, other specially protected animals, and migratory birds protected under international agreement by
sending an email to [email protected]
- Department of Parks and Wildlife Biodiversity Audit II : WA state-wide snapshot of biodiversity knowledge, conservation priorities, research needs, management options
- Land for Wildlife is a voluntary conservation program to encourage and assist private landholders to provide habitats for wildlife on their property.
- Department of Parks and Wildlife Threatened and Priority Fauna
- Do you own search for species in your area using Nature Map
- Atlas of Living Australia for aggregated information on all known Australian species.
* Total species includes native and non-native animals taken from the Atlas of Living Australia using the SWCC Regional boundary and may not automatically include all threatened species records as it is a public geographic database.
** Additions to the threatened species list or downgrades in rankings can include species where their threats have increased but also be a result of knowledge increasing about the species therefore leading to the species being added or downgraded on the threatened species list.
Ala.org.au. (2018). Atlas of Living Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.ala.org.au/ [Accessed 29 Mar. 2018].DBCA., 2018. Threatened fauna GIS records. DBCA Threatened Species Branch [Accessed Mar. 2018].