Skip to content

The threatened species we don’t talk about

Published 07 Sep 2023

Every year on Threatened Species Day, a certain group of animals get a lot of attention. The unusual Plains-wanderer, known for inhabiting its own branch of the evolutionary tree. The Night Parrot, celebrated for its mysterious ability to elude researchers and bird watchers for decades at a time. The Bilby, a disappearing national emblem. 

We love hearing stories about these famed enigmas, but today, we’re shifting the focus to the lesser knowns. Just as intriguing, but rarely in the headlines. Here, we highlight four threatened species existing on the periphery of the spotlight, waiting for your attention. 

Orange-bellied Parrot

(Neophema chrysogaster)

You might have heard of Swift Parrots, but many people aren’t aware of their orange-bellied cousins. Like 'swifties', Orange-bellied Parrots mate in Tasmania, mostly confined to near-coastal areas of the south-west between Birchs Inlet in Macquarie Harbour and Louisa Bay on the southern coast.

They nest in hollowed eucalypts and feed on moorlands and heathlands in the summer. After breeding, they migrate north to south-eastern South Australia and southern Victoria to feed in salt marshes during winter, where they face habitat loss due to the urban development on the coast. There are believed to be less than 100 left in the wild. 

Orange-bellied Parrot. Photo Bruce Thomson.

Edgbaston Goby

(Chlamydogobius squamigenus)

Beneath some of our country's driest and most remote regions lies the Great Artesian Basin, a vast subterranean reservoir stretching through Queensland, the Northern Territory, New South Wales, and South Australia. 

On Edgbaston Reserve, it nourishes what scientists have called the most significant natural springs for global biodiversity in the entire Great Artesian Basin and one of the most important in the world. Chances are you're not familiar with the critically endangered Edgbaston Goby, found in just a handful of artesian springs and standing as one of Australia’s most endangered fish. 

Gobies grow to about 6cm at most. During courtship, males extend their fins and dance around their chosen nest site. Male Edgbaston Gobies select spots for females to lay eggs, often in caves beneath rocks or vegetation. Males guard the eggs until they hatch. The hatchlings occupy the very shallowest parts of the springs until big enough to compete for space with the adults in the population. 

Invasive Mosquito Fish (Gambusia holbooki), feral pigs, and threats to the quality and quantity of water in the Great Artesian Basin are their primary threats.  

Edgbaston Goby. Photo by Gunther Schmida.

Eastern Barred Bandicoot

(Perameles gunnii)

Not only are bandicoots incredibly endearing, (they’re closely related to bilbies), but they also play a vital role in maintaining flora diversity and ecosystem function. 

Have you ever spotted little conical holes known as snout pokes on the forest floor or even in your garden? As bandicoots search for underground insects and larvae, they leave behind charming reminders of their passage. These diggings help to aerate the soil and assist seed germination. 

As fungi make up a large part of their diet, they disperse fungal spores as they move through the landscape. The Eastern Barred Bandicoot has two separate populations in Tasmania and Victoria. Threats include predation by foxes and cats, as well as habitat loss. If you see one in your yard, ensure you don't confuse it with an introduced rodent. Bush Heritage contributes to their conservation through our Midlands Conservation Partnership in Tasmania.

Eastern Barred Bandicoot. Photo by Bruce Thomson.

New Holland Mouse

(Pseudomys novaehollandiae) 

Can fire revive a species? The New Holland Mouse (or Pookila, derived from the Ngarigo word bugila) is a small native rodent with large dark eyes, soft rounded ears, and a long dusky-brown tail. The mouse's dorsal fur is grey-brown with white-grey underparts. 

At our Friendly Beaches Reserve we've teamed up with the truwana rangers to reintroduce cultural burning in the hope of creating an ideal habitat for the mouse. 

Located in Tasmania’s east, Friendly Beaches is part of a coastal lowland heathland network. This habitat is a favourite for the New Holland Mouse as it feeds on a variety of seeds, flowers, fungi, and small invertebrates. 

They nest in sandy-soil burrows and are found along the south-eastern Australian coast, from Tasmania to south-east Queensland. They’re range has drastically declined and their habitat is fragmented. Threats to the New Holland Mouse include loss of habitat, inappropriate fire regimes, predation from cats, foxes and introduced rodents.

New Holland Mouse. Photo Bruce Thomson.

Eighty-seven years ago today, the extinction of the Thylacine brought light to the need to protect our unique flora and fauna. Today, just beyond the spotlight, adjacent to the headlines, are hundreds of other species in need of our attention.  

Sign up to our newsletter to learn about the species we protect across our reserves and partnerships and stay up to date with our conservation efforts around the country.  

Recent stories

Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo by Sandy Horne.

11/07/2024 11/07/2024

NAIDOC Week 2024: Keep the Fire Burning!

This NAIDOC Week, we’re sharing stories from three incredible Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander leaders at Bush Heritage Australia.

Read More
Revegetation work being undertaken on Ediegarrup Reserve. Photo by Adrian Gaspari.

10/07/2024 10/07/2024

Bush Heritage Australia and Greening Australia unite to champion world-class restoration in WA

An ambitious project, jointly managed by Bush Heritage Australia and Greening Australia, will help wildlife move across a globally recognised biodiversity hotspot.

Read More
Webinar: NAIDOC Week Yarning Circle 2024

09/07/2024

Webinar: NAIDOC Week Yarning Circle 2024

Join us for a yarn about Bush Heritage's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, and this year's NAIDOC theme - 'Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud'.

Read More
After the purchase of Dodgey Downs, the paddock on the left will begin to resemble the remnant vegetation on the right. Photo Grassland Films.

02/07/2024 02/07/2024

Dodgey Downs farm to be transformed into nature corridor in biodiverse southwest WA

Bush Heritage has made a significant purchase of the quirkily named Dodgey Downs, creating nearly 4,000 hectares of connected bushland in a globally significant biodiversity hotspot.

Read More
Bush Broadcast 'Deep Dive'

19/06/2024

Webinar: Dodgey Downs

Find out about an incredible opportunity to connect our neighbouring conservation reserves, Red Moort and Monjebup, and reconnect fragmented landscape in Koreng Noongar Country, Southwest Western Australia.

Read More
Honey Possum on pink bottlebrush. Photo Michelle Hall.

05/06/2024 05/06/2024

World Environment Day and the power of biodiverse restoration

‘Generation Restoration’ is this year’s World Environmental Day theme, and it couldn’t be more aptly timed alongside our campaign to purchase and restore Dodgey Downs.

Read More
Red-finned Blue-eye. Photo Calumn Hockey.

03/06/2024 03/06/2024

Unique nature reserve in western Queensland granted highest level of protection in Australia

Together with Bidjara Traditional Owners, we've celebrated Edgbaston Reserve’s new Special Wildlife Reserve status.

Read More
Jack and Marja on Pilungah Reserve, Wangkamadla Country, central Queensland.

20/05/2024 20/05/2024

Something for everyone

After three weeks of caretaking on Pilungah Reserve, Wangkamadla Country, central Queensland, Marja and Jack were well and truly isolated.

Read More
Dodgey Downs, remnant vegetation and neighbouring Bush Heritage reserves. Photo by Grassland Films.

15/05/2024 15/05/2024

'Dodgey' by name, not by nature

In the magnificent biodiversity of southwest WA, on Goreng-Noongar Country, the great dividing lines between vegetation and cleared land are stark.

Read More
The critically endangered Central Rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus). Photo: Michael Barritt & Karen May (used under Creative Commons license: CC BY-SA 2.0)

05/04/2024 05/04/2024

Conservationists and landholders unite to protect critically endangered Central Rock-rat

The critically endangered Central Rock-rat has been sighted on Hewitt’s Narwietooma property following ecological surveys conducted in partnership with Bush Heritage Australia.

Read More
Woodland bird. Bush Broadcast.

28/03/2024

Webinar: Nardoo Hills turns 20

Victoria has cleared over 80% of its woodlands. In the face of that destruction, 20 years ago Bush Heritage managed to secure critical patches of temperate woodlands within Nardoo Hills, which have been cared for ever since. It’s a beautiful milestone and a cause for celebration.

Read More
A Brushtail Possum at Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary, Badimia Country, WA. Photo: Brad Leue

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

Possum party

Four hours north-east of Perth, the sight of a Brushtail Possum is one for celebration. It was recorded on a motion-sensor camera, and has been on a very special journey.

Read More
Fire on Yourka Reserve, Jirrbal and Warrungu Country, QLD. Photo: Alistair Hartley

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

Team spark

Teamwork, firebreaks and prescribed burning protects Yourka Reserve.

Read More
Cumberland River and cliffs on Gadubanud Country, VIC. Photo: Luke Nagle

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

My happy place

CEO Rachel Lowry revels in the rolling waves, golden sandstone cliffs, and the dark green of thick gum forest of her happy place.

Read More
Ecologist Dr Donna Belder bird monitoring on Scottsdale Reserve, Ngambri and Ngarigo Country, NSW. Photo: Tad Souden

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

Birdy barometer

One in four woodland-dependant birds are listed as threatened, and their populations are declining. Monitoring sheds light on how we can protect them.

Read More
'The Painted Desert' on Evelyn Downs is located on Yankunytjatjara and Antarkirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara  Country, SA. Photo: Annette Ruzicka

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

Protecting a painted beauty

Many paint our arid regions with a broad stroke and by doing so, obscure their vital intricacies. Thanks to our generous supporters, we can appreciate the diverse desert landscape of Evelyn Downs – our largest-ever reserve and newest acquisition.

Read More
Patersonia fragilis 'fairy rings' at Friendly Beaches Reserve, Tasmania. By Mike Bretz.

21/12/2023 21/12/2023

Peculiar Patersonia patterns

High above the 121-hectare reserve, they made a curious discovery. From the controller’s tiny screen, they spotted a strange circular pattern in the vegetation. Then another, and another.

Read More
Tree in arid landscape.

20/11/2023

Evelyn Downs webinar

In-depth discussion of our campaign to buy Evelyn Downs in South Australia's Painted Desert. This spectacular property will provide habitat for over 60 species of conservation significance.

Read More
Loading...
{{itemsInCart}} Items - {{formatCurrency(grandTotal)}}