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Endangered species

All plants and animals rely on other species for survival. Most commonly this is where one animal eats another or when plants rely on animals to spread pollen or seeds.

Change in the environment

Changes that occur in the environment such as the introduction of a new species or following a fire affect the type and amount of food available. This can also change the availability of places to hide from predators. Some species might cope better with these new conditions while others may find it harder to find food and to stay safe. If these changes occur over a large area, populations of different species may decline or become extinct.

While change is an ongoing and natural process, since the arrival of the Europeans in Australia in 1788, this rate of change has increased. Major impacts include land clearing for farming and housing, hunting (including fishing), introduction of pest animals and pollution.

Categories for classifying threatened species

Animals can be considered endangered at either the local, state, national or global level. For example, the Eastern Wallaroo is listed as threatened in Victoria but with populations in other states, it is not considered endangered at the national level.

Scientists have developed a range of categories to describe how threatened a species may be. Different categories are used at the Victorian, Australian and global level.

Conservation status in Victoria 
Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act:

  • Presumed extinct in Victoria
  • Endangered in Victoria
  • Vulnerable in Victoria
  • Rare in Victoria
  • Poorly known in Victoria

Conservation status in Australia
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act:

  • Extinct
  • Extinct in the wild
  • Critically endangered
  • Endangered
  • Vulnerable
  • Conservation dependent

Conservation status globally
International Union for the Conservation of Nature:

  • Extinct
  • Extinct in the wild
  • Critically Endangered
  • Endangered
  • Vulnerable
  • Near threatened
  • Least concern
  • Data deficient

Learn more

Parks Victoria

National parks and reserves cover around 17 per cent of Victoria. Parks Victoria plays a major role in helping to conserve endangered species in these areas.

Find out more about:

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

DELWP helps coordinate Victoria’s approach to conserving native species that are endangered within Victoria. Their website has excellent information on:

  • Victorian wildlife
  • Threatened species advisory lists
  • Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act
  • Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act action statements that detail what is being done to protect each species
  • Caring for wildlife
  • Current research projects


Department of the Environment (Australian Government)

The federal department is responsible for coordinating conservation work for species that are endangered at the national level. Their website can help you learn more about:

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Enjoy the great outdoors but know before you go!

11 Apr 2017

Enjoy the great outdoors, but know before you go! Parks Victoria is calling on visitors and campers to National and State Parks to make sure they are aware of the basic regulations that apply when visiting a park, particularly in the lead up to the Easter long weekend. Parks Victoria’s…

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