Minister launches Threatened Species Action Plan: Toward Zero Extinctions

Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek has today released the Threatened Species Action Plan: Towards Zero Extinctions. This Plan sets out a pathway for threatened species conservation and recovery over the next 10 years.

The need for action to protect our plants, animals and ecosystems from extinction has never been greater. This was highlighted in the State of the Environment Report.

The Action Plan has ambitious targets, which include preventing any new extinctions of plants and animals, and protecting and conserving at least 30% of Australia’s land mass. 

By prioritising 110 species and 20 places, the Plan will drive action where it is needed most and will deliver flow-on benefits to other threatened plants and animals in the same habitats.

The government is committed to protecting threatened species and is spending $224.5 million on the Saving Native Species program to boost outcomes for threatened native plants and animals.

The priority species and places have been identified by independent scientists who applied prioritisation principles, including risk of extinction, multiple benefits, and uniqueness.

The Minister today also announced listing decisions for 20 threatened species and 3 threatened ecological communities. 

Fifteen species and three ecological communities have been added to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act list of threatened species. Four species have been upgraded to a higher threat category, while one species will retain its current threat category.

A comprehensive statutory Conservation Advice is now in place to guide protection for all the species and communities listed.

Many of these species were very badly affected by the recent Black Summer Bushfires. 

These listings show us that the previous approach has not been working. The previous government had their head in the sand about the crisis in our environment. The launch of the Action Plan will set us on a stronger path for the future. 

The full action plan is available at:…
Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek:

“The Threatened Species Action Plan strengthens our commitment to stopping the extinction of Australia’s plants and animals.

“These are the strongest targets we’ve ever seen. 

“Based on input from researchers and experts from the community, this plan identifies 20 priority places and 110 priority species and will guide recovery actions that will benefit a broad range of threatened species and their habitats.

“Our native wildlife continues to be threatened by climate change, by natural disasters, by feral predators, and by human activity. 

“The Black Summer bushfires in particular have seen devastating results for many species. We are determined to give wildlife a better chance.

“Listing species as threatened under national environment law is a critical step in protecting the species and habitats in need of urgent help. 

"Our current approach has not been working. If we keep doing what we've been doing, we'll keep getting the same results. Australia is the mammal extinction capital of the world. 

“The need for action has never been greater.

“I will not shy away from difficult problems or accept environmental decline and extinction as inevitable.”




Johnson’s Cycad – added as ENDANGERED

  • The largest cycad in NSW with spectacular foliage, it is facing habitat decline caused by increased fire frequency and droughts predicted under climate change.

Yellow Mountain Bell – uplisted from endangered to CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

  • the species is only found within the Stirling Range National Park in WA, threatened by fire, habitat loss and invasive species.

Bertya sp. Clouds Creek (M.Fatemi 4) – added as ENDANGERED,

  • A shrub with densely hairy stems, found in rocky outcrops in the northern tablelands NSW, 97% population affected by the 2019-20 fires.

Pretty Beard Orchid – added as ENDANGERED

  • Rare and beautiful ground orchid, only appox 230 known plants, affected by fire, habitat loss and climate change 

Bird Orchid or Duck’s-head wasp orchid– added as ENDANGERED

  • Small ground orchid with only three populations in Cathedral Rock National Park (near Armidale, NSW) – affected by habitat loss and feral pigs. 

Stirling Range Dryandra – transferred from endangered category to CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

  • A banksia species facing too-frequent fires and grazing. After the fire in 2019 there were no known mature individuals surviving in the wild. 

Corokia whiteana – transferred from VULNERABLE to ENDANGERED

  • A shrub or small tree, found in wet Sclerophyll forests in the northern tablelands NSW, sites were severely impacted during the 2019 fires. 

Grey Deua Pomaderris - transferred from VULNERABLE to CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

  • A shrub with elliptical leaves, it is only found in Deua National Park south of Moruya NSW and was severely impacted by the 2019 fires.  

Pomaderris gilmourii var. gilmourii – added as ENDANGERED

  • A species of flowering plant endemic to Deua National Park south of Moruya NSW, it was severely impacted by the 2019 fires. 

White Star-bush - added as CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

  • Also known as the emerald star bush, it is confined to the Dandenong Ranges in VIC, facing habitat loss and changing fire patterns. 

Coastal Leek Orchid – added as CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

  • There are now only about 1,000 of these orchids remaining in 8-9 small and scattered subpopulations. Coastal erosion or sea level rise will put further pressure on the species. 

Large-fruited Denhamia – added to the list as ENDANGERED

  • A shrub or small tree with distinctive fruit, it has a restricted and severely fragmented distribution and is facing habitat loss. 

Headland Commersonia - added as CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

  • This trailing shrub with white-pink flowers has only been recorded in one population in Byfield National Park, northeast of Rockhampton. There may be fewer than 250 individuals remaining.


Western Beautiful Firetail – added as ENDANGERED

  • A small bird with a distinctive red ‘firetail’, the 2019 bushfires on Kangaroo Island, resulted in a substantial decline in the population. 

Malanda Rainbowfish – added as CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

  • Found in small rivers in the Atherton Tablelands QLD, introduced species are leading to hybridisation (breeding with introduced species leading to this species dying out). 

Oxleyan Pygmy Perch – retained as ENDANGERED

  • A small brown or olive coloured fish with a distinctive orange-rimmed tail. It is facing habitat loss and is confined to freshwater systems in the lowlands in northern NSW. 

Parma Wallaby - added as VULNERABLE

  • A small rock wallaby endemic to NSW along the Great Dividing Range, it is threated by fire and increased predation by foxes due to reduced vegetation cover. 

Grey Snake – added as ENDANGERED

  • The grey snake population is facing habitat loss and degradation by agricultural practices, predation by invasive species and poisoning by cane toads. 

Gravel Downs Ctenotus – added as CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

  • A small lizard, it is found only in the Diamantina Lakes area in QLD and facing predation by feral pigs as well as fires and habitat loss. 

Key’s Matchstick Grasshopper – added as ENDANGERED

  • A small, wingless grasshopper it is facing habitat loss and is sensitive to drought and frequent bushfires as it only breeds once a year. As it is wingless it cannot escape many threats.

Ecological Communities

Mount Kaputar land snail and slug community – added as ENDANGERED

  • Only known to be found in Mt Kaputar in northern NSW, it features the iconic Kaputar giant pink slug.

  • It is facing invasive animals (pigs), climate change and was extensively impacted by the 2019 bushfires. 

Ben Halls Gap Sphagnum Moss Cool Temperate Rainforest – added as CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

  • A unique type of rainforest characterised by distinctive large mounds of sphagnum moss forming over a layer of peat. 

  • It is only known to be found at Ben Halls Gap in the New England tablelands of NSW. It was substantially impacted by the 2019 fires. 

Subtropical eucalypt floodplain forest and woodland of the New South Wales North Coast and Southeast Queensland bioregions – added as ENDANGERED

  • Eucalypt forests and woodlands, on the floodplains of the eastern watershed of the Great Dividing Range, predominantly in the New South Wales North Coast and South Eastern Queensland bioregions.

  • Affected by clearing, selective harvesting, climate change, invasive plants and animals and disease and pathogens.