Source(s): Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC), 'EPBC Act List of Threatened fauna'. Current list is available on-line, although historical data is sourced directly from SEWPaC; www.environment.gov.au.
Biodiversity is essential to the wellbeing of Australia and its people, with native plants, animals and other organisms contributing to a healthy environment. Aside from aiding the maintenance of clean water, clean air and healthy soils, they also provide significant economic benefits, for example, through tourism, agriculture, and a variety of cultural and recreational services.
Threatened fauna are a small part of overall biodiversity, yet an increase in the endangered status of listed species threatens ecological processes and can point to a wider decline in biodiversity. This provides an indication of decline in overall biodiversity and how it is changing over time.
Over the past decade, the number of threatened fauna species has increased from 332 in 2000 to 432 in 2010. Of the list of threatened fauna species, just under half (46%) were listed as vulnerable, around two-fifths (41%) were listed as endangered or critically endangered, and just over one in ten (13%) were listed as extinct.
For a more in-depth discussion about how biodiversity relates to progress and whether it is improving in Australia, please see the Biodiversity chapter in Measures of Australia’s Progress, 2010 (cat. no. 1370.0).
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