Threatened native species

Victoria is experiencing a period of rapid species decline1. Within the Glenelg Hopkins region, 295 native species are considered to be threatened with extinction. Of these, 103 are animals and 192 plants.

Landscapes that undergo significant habitat loss are expected to experience large rates of species loss2. In landscapes that have undergone relatively recent losses of habitat, such as the Glenelg Hopkins region (81% habitat loss since the 1830s), the difference between initial and final levels of extinction may take many more decades to be realised3. Scientists call this concept of future species extinctions caused by habitat loss in the past ‘extinction debt’4. Because there are time delays in the impact habitat loss has on species, it is likely that without significant intervention, many more species will be lost from the Glenelg Hopkins region.

Threatened species are categorised according to their likelihood of extinction in the ‘near future’, with their threat status elevated as the likelihood of extinction increases and the need for intervention becomes more pressing. The most threatened category is ‘Critically Endangered’ followed by ‘Endangered’ and ‘Vulnerable’. Conservation actions implemented to prevent extinction are informed through Recovery Plans (for species that are listed as threatened nationally) and Action Statements (for species listed as threatened in Victoria under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1998 (FFG Act)). These documents are a vital resource written by scientific experts, identifying both threats and the actions most likely to prevent further decline.

Many threatened species share habitat and common threats. It is likely that specific actions will benefit a broad range of threatened and declining species. Decision support tools such as Strategic Management Prospects, specific needs analysis, recovery plans and conservation advices can assist in identifying the priority actions to benefit species and their habitats.

The most frequently identified threats for the region’s native species are outlined in ‘Major threats and drivers of change’.

Learn more about some of the region’s threatened species by clicking on the photos below.

red-tailed black cockatoo

Button wrinklewort

Australasian bittern

Eastern barred bandicoot
Photo: Ian McCann

Spiny rice-flower

Hooded plover