29 Species Have Recovered Enough in Australia to be Taken Off Endangered List–a Milestone for Celebration

​Eastern Barred Bandicoot (Perameles gunnii) CC 3.0. JJ Harrison

A large research project studying endangered species in Australia has tallied 29 recovered species—all animals that can be safely de-listed from the country’s endangered species list.

Australia’s Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act currently lists 446 species of animals in genuine need of protection, 29 of which—15 mammals, 8 birds, 4 frogs, 1 reptile, and 1 fish, no longer need that protection.

Among these critters are the golden, Western barred, and Eastern barred bandicoots, Western quoll, sooty albatross, waterfall frog, Flinder’s Range worm-lizard, yellow-footed rock wallabies, greater bilby, humpback whale, growling grass frog, Murray’s cod, and others.

Australia has been a focus of endangered species conservation for decades due to its high degree of endemism.

Introduced cats, foxes, cane toads, and other invasive species have proven exceptionally difficult challenges for the local wildlife that didn’t evolve alongside such successful animals as house cats and red foxes.

The waterfall frog (Litoria nannotis) CC 2.0. Sztaka

Unlike America’s ESL, the EPBC doesn’t mandate that species be reviewed regularly for recovery. These large scientific papers are rare and represent moments to celebrate for Australia’s conservationists.

MORE AUSTRALIA NEWS: ‘Turning Back the Tide of Extinction’ Australian Mammals Are Coming Back: Bandicoots, Bilbies, Potoroos

The paper, published in Science was conducted by a variety of Australian academic institutions and concluded that conservation managers should aim to measure success at least in part through documentation of recoveries based on stability, ranges, and populations of the current day, even though this represents a smaller fraction of what these were before Australia was colonized.

This they argue will help coordinate conservation efforts and funding for the animals whose populations are decreasing, and address threats that are a danger to multiple animal species at once.

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