Australian priority species

Common Green Turtle Swimming in Indo Pacific Ocean. / ©: Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon
The Common Green Turtle is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List.
© Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon
There is a vast wealth of species diversity across Australia’s landscapes. From kangaroos to cockatoos, many of these species occur nowhere else on Earth.
Species conservation lies at the heart of WWF’s work throughout Australia. It is estimated that there are more than half a million species distinct to Australia, only 150,000 of which have been described by science.1

The Australian Government recognises about 1,500 of these species as threatened2, however this figure is thought to lag far behind the actual number of threatened species.3

Climate change, ongoing habitat destruction caused by landclearing, and the enormous risk posed by invasive weeds and feral animals mean that our native plants and animals face a bleak future if action is not urgently taken.

WWF-Australia’s priority species align with our global priorities and serve to highlight important regional conservation issues.

Australia’s flagship species

WWF-Australia works alongside global partners to protect important species and their habitats, and to inform our supporters and the public about what they can do to help save our threatened species.

The priority species that WWF-Australia is currently working to protect include the:

Adopt an animal today to help save threatened species from extinction

WWF-Australia’s animal adoptions help to raise awareness of the plight of threatened species around the world. Proceeds from the sale of animal adoptions help fund WWF’s conservation efforts to save wildlife at risk and the habitat they depend on for survival.

Adopt an animal

Our past threatened species work

Gouldian finch in the Kimberley, Western Australia. / ©: Mike Fidler
Working with the community to stop plants and animals from disappearing is what the Threatened Species Network (TSN) was all about. TSN was a partnership between WWF-Australia and the Australian Government.

Go to our TSN pages (archived)
Snubfin dolphin. / ©: Guido J. Parra
© Guido J. Parra
Snubfin dolphins
The highly social snubfin dolphin is a relatively small species that lives in the waters of northern Australia.

Carnaby’s black cockatoos / ©: John Lauri
© John Lauri
Carnaby's black cockatoos
The endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) is one of just two species of white-tailed black cockatoo on Earth.
Black-flanked rock-wallaby. Kellerberrin area, Southwest Australia’s central Wheatbelt granites. ... / ©: Phil Lewis & Mike Griffiths / WWF-Aus
© Phil Lewis & Mike Griffiths / WWF-Aus
Rock-wallabies
Perfectly adapted to life on the rocks, and yet still facing multiple threats to their survival.
Dugong (Dugong dugong), Red Sea, Egypt / ©: Andrey Nekrasov / WWF-Canon
© Andrey Nekrasov / WWF-Canon
Dugongs
The dugong (Dugong dugon) is a herbivorous marine mammal, often called the “sea cow” for its habit of grazing on seagrass meadows.
Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Sipadan Island, Semporna, Sabah, Malaysia. 19 June 2009. / ©: Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon
© Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon
Marine turtles
Over the past 200 years, human activities have tipped the scales against the survival of these ancient mariners.
Australia’s footprint species

WWF-Australia works alongside global partners to improve the sustainability of our natural resource use, and to inform our supporters and the public about what they can do to help reduce their ecological footprint.

The priority footprint species that WWF-Australia is currently working to protect include:

albatrosses
• corals
• pelagic and reef sharks
• tuna


1. Chapman (2009) Numbers of Living Species in Australia and the World. Australian Government, Canberra.
2. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/index.html, accessed January 10 2011.
3. Chapman (2009) Numbers of Living Species in Australia and the World. Australian Government, Canberra.