Insanely Grim Report Says 17 Aussie Species Likely To Be Extinct In 20 Years

Yeah g’day, are you ready for some extremely depressing news? Well, I’m gonna tell you anyway: 17 unique Australian birds and mammals will likely become extinct within the next 20 years if we don’t get our shit together and improve the protection of threatened species.

Australia’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub researchers have even figured out the exact risk to each of the species and it’s grim as fuck, folks. Not a great look for a country which already has a world-leading extinction rate. Since colonisation, Australia has lost at least 30 mammals and 29 birds.

In terms of the birds, the King Island brown thornbill is most at risk, with a horrific 94 per cent chance of disappearing entirely if nothing further is done to protect it. The orange-bellied parrot (87%), King Island scrubtit (83%), western ground parrot (75%), and Houtman Abrolhos painted button-quail (71%) round out the top 5.

For mammals, the central rock-rat is most at risk, with a 65 per cent chance of total extinction within 20 years, followed by the northern hopping-mouse (48%), carpentarian rock-rat (44%), Christmas Island flying-fox (41%), and black-footed tree-rat (39%).

Deputy director of the Threatened Species Recovery Hub at the National Environmental Science ProgramProfessor John Woinarski, says these animals need all the support they can get.

“The fate of these species depends upon support from governments and communities, and public interest, awareness and involvement,” he said.

The researchers combined two existing measures of extinction with intensive interviews conducted with 30 experts to calculate the risk for a total of 40 species – 20 birds and 20 mammals. Of that total 40, they predict that 17 were “likely” to disappear completely.

Speaking with the ABC, Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said the Government was committed to protecting these threatened species, appointing a Threatened Species Commissioner as well as launching the Threatened Species Strategy.

“There is a big task ahead, but the Government is working with the community, scientists, land managers and state and territory governments to ensure that we are all working together in the fight against extinction,” he said.

You can check out the entire depressing list below.

Ranking Bird Percentage chance of extinction within 20 years Mammal Percentage chance of extinction within 20 years
1 King Island brown thornbill 94 Central rock-rat 65
2 Orange-bellied parrot 87 Northern hopping-mouse 48
3 King Island scrubtit 83 Carpentarian rock-rat 44
4 Western ground parrot 75 Christmas Island flying-fox 41
5 Houtman Abrolhos painted button-quail 71 Black-footed tree-rat

(Kimberley and mainland NT)

6 Plains-wanderer 64 Gilbert’s potoroo 36
7 Regent Honeyeater 57 Leadbeater’s possum 29
8 Grey-range thick-billed grasswren 53 Nabarlek (Top End) 29
9 Herald petrel 52 Brush-tailed phascogale (Kimberley) 25
10 Black-eared miner 47 Brush-tailed rabbit-rat

(Kimberley, Top End)

11 Northern eastern bristlebird 39 Western ringtail possum 25
12 Mallee emu-wren 34 Northern brush-tailed phascogale 23
13 Swift parrot 31 Mountain pygmy-possum 22
14 Norfolk island boobook 27 Kangaroo Island dunnart 22
15 Mount Lofty Ranges chestnut-rumped 24 Brush-tailed rabbit-rat (Tiwi Islands) 21
16 Fleurieu Peninsula southern emu-wren 17 Silver-headed antechinus 20
17 Helmeted honeyeater 17 Southern bent-winged bat 18
18 Cocos buff-banded rail 17 Black-tailed antechinus 17
19 Western bristlebird 16 Northern bettong 14
20 Alligator Rivers yellow chat 15 Tasman Peninsula dusky antechinus 14