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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 and Primary Industries (DEPI)

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

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

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:

Seasonal Ranger Vanessa Wiggenraad with Junior Ranger participants Click to view the news RSS feed.

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