Australia’s arid zone is home to some of the most unique wildlife in the world, each species brilliantly adapted to living in the extremes of this landscape.
Photo by Ben Parkhurst
At the same time, Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate of any continent, and nowhere have mammals fared worse than in the arid zone. Of the 27 species of native mammal that once inhabited outback South Australia, over 60% are now locally extinct or completely extinct. Some birds such as the Bush Thick-knee and Plains Wanderer are also locally extinct or endangered.
The foremost reason for the loss of these animals from the landscape is predation from introduced predators: feral cats and foxes. Overgrazing by rabbits and domestic herbivores is also a contributing factor. Almost all of the medium-sized mammals that once roamed the outback are now completely extinct or have disappeared from mainland Australia to survive only on off-shore islands - animals like the Greater Stick-nest Rat, the Burrowing Bettong and the Western Barred Bandicoot. Other species, like the Greater Bilby, have clung to existence in pockets on the mainland in a shadow of their former range.
Arid Recovery is working to re-establish these animals and their important functions back to the desert ecosystem.
Read more on the endangered species we protect: