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Rheobatrachus silus

Extinct animals of Australia

Following is a complete list of Australian vertebrate extinctions from 1788 to the present. There are 23 birds, 4 frogs, and 27 mammal species known to have become extinct since European settlement of Australia. It is worth making special mention of the three great human-introduced killer species: the European rabbit, the European Red Fox, and the domestic cat. Although many other introduced species have played a destructive role, so far these three have been far and away the most significant.

Extinctions are recorded under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Several invertebrate species have also been listed as extinct by the World Conservation Union (IUCN), however this list is less exhaustive, as invertebrates are more difficult to survey and are less well studied.

Extinct Australian animals: 1788 to present:


Species Common Name Location(s) Comments
Aplonis fusca Norfolk Starling Norfolk Island, NSW 1923. Competition from introduced European starling, song thrush and common blackbird, clearance for agriculture.
Columba vitiensis godmanae White-throated Pigeon (Lord Howe Island), Lord Howe Pigeon Lord Howe Island
Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae erythrotis Red-crowned Parakeet (Macquarie Island), Macquarie Island Parakeet Macquarie Island
Harpogonis moorei Haast's Eagle
Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae subflavescens Red-crowned Parakeet (Lord Howe Island), Lord Howe Parakeet Lord Howe Island
Dasyornis broadbenti litoralis Rufous Bristlebird (western), South-western Rufous Bristlebird WA
Dromaius ater Dwarf Emu, King Island Emu TAS 1827
Dromaius baudinianus Kangaroo Island Emu Kangaroo Island 1805
Dromaius novaehollandiae diemenensis Emu (Tasmanian) TAS 1850
Drymodes superciliaris colcloughi Roper River Scrub-robin NT This subspecies maybe invalid. It is known from only 2 specimens of doubtful provenance.
Gerygone insularis Lord Howe Gerygone, Lord Howe Warbler Lord Howe Island
Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae spadicea New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island race) Norfolk Island
Lalage leucopyga leucopyga Norfolk Island Long-tailed Triller Norfolk Island
Nestor productus Norfolk Island Kaka Norfolk Island
Ninox novaeseelandiae albaria Southern Boobook (Lord Howe Island), Lord Howe Boobook Owl Lord Howe Island
Porphyrios alba White Gallinule Lord Howe Island
Psephotus pulcherrimus Paradise Parrot NSW, QLD Date uncertain around 1927; more recent sightings are sometimes claimed but have never been confirmed. Cause uncertain, most hypotheses centre on starvation from lack of grass seed after drought, overgrazing, more frequent fires, and introduction of prickly pear.
Rallus pectoralis clelandi Lewin's Water Rail (western) WA
Rallus philippensis maquariensis Macquarie Island Rail Macquarie Island
Rhipidura cervina Lord Howe Fantail Lord Howe Island
Turdus poliocephalus poliocephalus Grey-headed Blackbird, Norfolk Island Thrush Norfolk Island
Turdus xanthopus vinitinctus Lord Howe Vinous-tinted Thrush Lord Howe Island
Zosterops albogularis White-chested White-eye, Norfolk Island Silvereye Norfolk Island The IUCN considers this species endangered; it is listed as extinct under the EPBC act since it has not been officially documented for over 20 years.
Zosterops strenuus Lord Howe Island Early 1920s. Predation by Rattus rattus


The reason for the decline and extinction of these frog species is unclear, decline in frog populations is an international phenomenon.

Species Common Name Location(s) Comments
Rheobatrachus silus Gastric-brooding Frog QLD Last wild specimen recorded in 1981
Rheobatrachus vitellinus Eungella Gastric-brooding Frog QLD Last wild specimen recorded in 1985
Taudactylus acutirostris Sharp-snouted Day Frog, Sharp-snouted Torrent Frog QLD Last wild specimen recorded in 1997
Taudactylus diurnus Southern Day Frog, Mt Glorious Torrent Frog QLD Last wild specimen recorded in 1979


Species Common Name Location(s) Comments
Bettongia gaimardi gaimardi Eastern Bettong (mainland) NSW, QLD, SA, VIC
Bettongia lesueur graii Boodie, Burrowing Bettong (inland) WA
Bettongia penicillata penicillata Brush-tailed Bettong (south-east mainland) NSW, NT, SA, VIC, WA
Caloprymnus campestris Desert Rat-kangaroo QLD, SA
Chaeropus ecaudatus Pig-footed Bandicoot NSW, NT, SA, VIC, WA 1950s
Conilurus albipes White-footed Rabbit-rat NSW, QLD, SA, VIC
Lagorchestes asomatus Central Hare-wallaby NT 1935
Lagorchestes hirsutus hirsutus Rufous Hare-wallaby (south-west mainland) NT, SA, WA
Lagorchestes leporides Eastern Hare-wallaby NSW, QLD, SA, VIC 1890
Lagostrophus fasciatus albipilis Banded Hare-wallaby (mainland) WA
Leporillus apicalis Lesser Stick-nest Rat NSW, NT, SA, VIC, WA 1933
Macropus eugenii eugenii Tammar Wallaby (South Australia) SA Population Rediscovered on New Zealand
Macropus greyi Toolache Wallaby SA, VIC 1932
Macrotis leucura Lesser Bilby NT, QLD, SA 1931
Notomys amplus Short-tailed Hopping-mouse NT, SA 1896
Notomys longicaudatus Long-tailed Hopping-mouse NT, SA, WA
Notomys macrotis Big-eared Hopping-mouse WA 1843
Notomys mordax Darling Downs Hopping-mouse NSW, QLD 1846
Nyctophilus howensis Lord Howe Long-eared Bat Lord Howe Island
Onychogalea lunata Crescent Nail-tail Wallaby SA, WA
Perameles bougainville fasciata Western Barred Bandicoot (mainland) NSW, VIC
Perameles eremiana Desert Bandicoot NT, SA, WA
Potorous platyops Broad-faced Potoroo WA 1865
Pseudomys gouldii Gould's Mouse NSW, QLD, SA, VIC, WA
Rattus macleari Maclear's Rat Christmas Island 1908
Rattus nativitatis Bulldog Rat Christmas Island
Thylacinus cynocephalus Thylacine, Tasmanian Tiger TAS 1936


Several Australian Invertebrates have been listed by the World Conservation Union as having become extinct. However they are not listed as extinct under Australian legislation.

Species Common Name Location(s) Comments
Hypolimnus pedderensis Lake Pedder Earthworm TAS Probably extinct in 1972, confirmed in 1996
Romankenkius pedderensis Lake Pedder Planarian TAS Probably extinct in 1972, confirmed in 1986
Tornelasmias capricorni
Austrogammarus australis Rediscovered. Status requires updating
Beddomeia tumida 1996
Angrobia dulvertonensis 1996
Placostylus bivaricosus etheridgei

See also


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