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Animals, plants on the must-save list

Some of the animals, plants and places that have been listed as must-saves under the federal government’s plan to address Australia’s extinction crisis.

October 4, 2022
By Tracey Ferrier
4 October 2022

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has released a 10-year plan aiming to stop further extinctions of Australia’s threatened species.

Here are some of the places and species prioritised.

Some of the prioritised species


● Gilbert’s Poteroo, considered extinct until its rediscovery in a WA nature reserve

● The Leadbeater’s Possum, the Mountain Pygmy-possum, the Northern Brushtail Possum and the Western Ringtail Possum

● The Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat

● The Australian sea-lion


● The majestic grey-black Carnaby’s Cockatoo

● Australia’s largest shorebird, the Eastern Curlew

● The stocky, ground-dwelling Malleefowl

● The vibrant, aerial acrobat, the Swift Parrot


● The prehistoric looking Freshwater Sawfish, with its long, saw-like snout

● The Eastern Grey Nurse Shark

● Tasmania’s Red Handfish, which literally looks like it has two red hands

● White’s Seahorse, also known as the Sydney seahorse


● The Mountain Frog, plump and pretty with its vibrant autumn colours

● The Southern Corroboree Frog, found only in the Mount Kosciuszko National Park

● The White-bellied Frog, with its beefy muscular legs

● The Growling Grass Frog, a warty, vibrant green swamp frog that literally growls


● The Bellinger River Snapping Turtle, found only along a certain stretch of the NSW river

● The Green Turtle, named more for the colour of its fat than its shell

● The Pygmy Blue-tongue Lizard, the smallest member of the blue tongue family considered extinct until it’s rediscovery in South Australia in 1992

● The chubby Arnhem Land Gorges Skink that looks permanently pregnant


● The Giant Gippsland Earthworm, the biggest worm in the world

● The Lord Howe Island Phasmid, giant flightless stick insect that grows to over 12cm

● The pretty, fruit-sucking Pink Underwing Moth

● The Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish, the world’s largest freshwater crayfish


● The Wollemi Pine, one of the world’s rarest plants dating back to the time of the dinosaurs

● Western Australia’s slow growing, odd-named shrub, the Small Flowered Snottygobble

● The Waddy, Waddi, Waddy-wood, better known as the Birdsville wattle

● The Bulberin nut, a threatened species of macadamia

Priority places

● Eastern forests of far north Queensland

● Brigalow Country, Queensland

● Greater Blue Mountains, NSW

● Australian Alps, NSW, ACT and Victoria

● South East Coastal Ranges – NSW and Victoria

● Southern Plains, including the Western Victorian volcanic plain and karst springs, Victoria and South Australia

● Midlands region of central Tasmania

● Giant kelp ecological community, Tasmania

● Mallee Birds Ecological Community, Victoria, South Australia and NSW

● MacDonnell Ranges, Northern Territory

● Kakadu & West Arnhem, Northern Territory

● Yampi Sounds and surrounds, Western Australia

● Remnant WA Wheatbelt Woodlands, Western Australia

● Fitz-Stirlings, Western Australia

● Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

● Bruny Island, Tasmania

● French Island, Victoria

● Raine Island, Queensland

● The external territory of Christmas Island

● The external territory of Norfolk Island

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