Australian Geographic: Australia’s most endangered species

Home to some of the most extravagant, eccentric and dangerous animals, Australia also has some of the most endangered wildlife in the world.

Our unique marsupials and monotremes are a source of pride, but Australia also has the dubious honour of the highest extinction rate of any nation.

The orange-bellied parrot, Neophema chrysogaster, is one of Australia's most endangered species. Image: JJ Harrison [CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

The orange-bellied parrot, Neophema chrysogaster, is one of Australia’s most endangered species. Image: JJ Harrison [CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

“Importantly, research clearly shows that biodiversity contributes significantly to our survival, well-being and enjoyment of life, so when we lose species at the rates that we’re currently witnessing, we should be gravely concerned,” says Dr Euan Ritchie an ecologist at Deakin University in Melbourne.

Read about Australia’s 10 most critically endangered species, and why keystone species are often apex predators.