Ask an Expert: How you Can Help our Native Animals

The Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife are passionate about protecting our native plants and animals. Today we have Ian Darbyshire, the CEO of the foundation with us for a chat.

Read on to find out how you can help:

Why is the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife so important?


The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is important because it helps protect and safeguard Australia’s native plants, animals and cultural heritage. More than 80 per cent of the country’s flowering plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia, along with most of its freshwater fish and almost half of its birds. Most of our animals are found nowhere else on earth – and that makes looking after our natural habitat and our flora and fauna species even more important. Australia has lost 75% of its rainforests and 50% of all forests in the last 200 years, this has resulted in a high level of critically endangered wildlife. They need our protection and that is what FNPW does.

What is so special about Australian animals?

Australian animals are specific to Australia. The animals in Australia have evolved over millions of years and most of them are not found anywhere else in the world.

What animals are currently at risk of extinction?

Woylie, Mountain pygmy possum, Leadbeater’s possum, White-tipped stick-nest rat, Southern bent-wing bat, Lord Howe long-eared bat, Christmas Island pipstrelle, Gilbert’s potoroo, Christmas Island flying-fox, bare-rumped sheathtail bat, Kangaroo Island dunnart, Macdonnell Range rock rat, King Island scrubit, Regent Honeyeater, Thick-bill Grasswren, Curlew Sandpiper, Great Knot, spotted quail-thrush, yellow chat, Christmas Island frigatebird, Swift Parrot, Helmeted Honeyeater, Bar-tailed Godwit, Eastern Curlew, Orange-bellied Parrot, Plains-wanderer, wester ground parrot, Beck’s petrel, Round Island petel, Trunidade petrel, hearld petrel, regent honeyeater, short-nosed sea snake, eared worm-lizard, Christmas Island blue-tailed skink, Christmas Island gecko/Lister’s gecko, hawksbill turtle, Allan’s lerista, Nangur spiny skink, western swamp tortoise, beautiful nursey frog, white-bellied frong, Booroolong frog, yellow-spotted tree frog, armoured mistfrog, peppered tree frog, spotted tree frog, Baw Baw frog, southern corroboree frog, northern corroboree frog, sharp snouted day frog, Eungella torrent frog, Kroombit tinker frog, northern tinker frog, Vesk’s plat-louse, Sydney Hawk, hairy marron/Margaret River marron, Lord Howe Island stick-insect/phasmid, Tasmanian torrent midge, central north burrowing crayfish, Mallacoota burrowing crayfish, Scottsdale burrowing crayfish, Warragul burrowing crayfish, crayfish, ochre-bellied crayfish, Bornemissza’s stag beetle, Francistown cave cricket or southern sandstone cave cricket, Australia dinosaur ant, silver perch, spotted handfish, grey nurse shark, Elizabeth Spring goby, Edgabaston goby, swan galaxias, barred galaxias, Clarence galaxias, spotted galaxias, flathead galaxias, Pedder galaxais, northern river shark, speartooth shark, murray river cod, largetooth sawfish, olive sawfish, red-finned blue-eye, opal cling goby, southern Bluefin tuna, red handfish, Boggonmoss snail/Dawson Valley snail, Campbells helicarionid land snail, magnificent heliocarionid land snail, Glenelg freshwater mussel, Grey’s helicarionid land snail, Phillip Island helicarionid land snail, Masters’ charopid land snail, Rosewood keeled snail, Mouth Lidgebird charopid land snail, Whitelegge’s land snail, Stoddart’s helicarionid land snail, Mitchell’s rainforest snail, Derwent River sea star.

Source: http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/science-environment/2014/06/australian-endangered-species-list

What are the main causes of this?

Human interference has had dramatic effects on the Australian ecosystem. The destruction of animal habitats, poor use of Australia’s rivers and waterways and the introduction of non-native species into the wild are some of the main causes.

What can you tell us about Backyard Buddies?

Backyard Buddies is a free community environment initiative that raises awareness and provides information on native plants and animals that are likely to be seen in urban environments. The Adopt a Backyard Buddies initiative is a fundraising program that raises funds to conserve and protect several species of animals, including koalas, wombats, little penguins, endangered wallaby species and more.

How can we help to make a difference?

You can help make a difference in a number of ways.

  1. By transforming natural areas or your backyard into a habitat for native animals. You can learn more about Australian animals by exploring the wilderness where you live and creating an area for them to live, visit and thrive.
  2. You can take part in volunteer days which involves exploring and restoring the national parks
  3. Donate to the cause.

What should we do if we find a native animal who has been injured?

If an animal has been injured, call a wildlife carer immediately. Keep a cardboard box and towel in the boot of your car to keep the animal safe. Be aware of your own safety if it is by the road.

If you are advised to collect the animal by a wildlife carer, keep the animal in as little stress as possible. Approach with caution and cover the animal in a towel or blanket. Line the cardboard box with newspaper if possible. Don’t give the animal food or water unless the wildlife carer advises you to. Drop the animal at a vet and tell them where you found them.

What is the one message you would like to give our readers?

By acting now to protect our environment we can secure a better future for everyone.

Where can we find out more information?

More information can be found on the FNPW website and the Backyard Buddies website. These recources offer a lot of advice in relation to wildlife and how Australians can help.

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