« Changing Flora and Fauna | Main | Community »

Australia’s Missing Species

August 14, 2001

There’s a lot of great animal species to see in Australia, obviously. Many animals that you are familiar with can only be found here. These are animals like the cockatoos, koalas and kangaroos. There are many more animals that you may not be so familiar with like the emu, the tasmanian devil and the echidna. Yes, Australia is blessed with great animals. Sadly, though, there are many animals that are endangered or have succumbed to extinction. In fact, Australia has the highest rate of extinction of mammalian species in the world (National Geographic, July 2000).


Since the first European settlement in 1788, many mammals have disappeared from the landscape. In the 1800s, the Darling Downs Hopping Mouse, King Island Emu, Pig-Footed Bandicoot and Eastern Hare Wallaby, among others, were lost to the planet. Last century saw the loss of the Tasmanian Tiger, Desert Bandicoot and Desert Rat Kangaroo.

What made them all die? Growth of the human population in this country was certainly one contributing factor. Land alteration for agriculture, cattle grazing and human habitation decreased or altogether destroyed the type of environment that these animals needed to survive. Europeans also introduced many animals to the country, including feral cats and foxes which became predators for the native animals. It is also speculated that the water cycle may also be partly to blame. Some small mammals in the tropics, for instance, are particularly susceptible to long periods of drought.

Suggested Learning Activity: Find out about animals that are endangered in your community or country. Why are they endangered? What can you do to help stop the threats against them?


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 14, 2001 6:29 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Changing Flora and Fauna.

The next post in this blog is Community.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35