Australia’s species extinction crisis in numbers: 2019

Geyle H. M., Woinarski J. C. Z., Baker G. B. et al. (2018) Quantifying extinction risk and forecasting the number of impending Australian bird and mammal extinctions. Pac. Conserv. Biol. 24.

Aim: 
To predict which Australian mammals and birds are most likely to go extinct over the next 20 years, if current management practices continue.
Type of Study: 
Research paper (modelled IUCN 'extinction imminent' category and NatureServe assessments using expert elicitation)
Key Results: 
Of the 40 birds and 41 mammals assessed, 58% and 22% respectively, were characterised as 'extinction imminent'. Of the 20 birds with the highest extinction risk, breed only on small islands (<40 km squared), two are from King Island (1098 km squared) and two others (migratory parrots that spend the non-breeding season in mainland Australia) in Tasmania (64519 km squared). The remaining 13 birds that have mainland distributions occur in intensively modified regions of southern Australia. Five of the 20 most at risk mammals occur only on islands (137-5786 km squared), but none of those islands support a highly threatened bird from the top 20. Half of the most at risk mammals occur mostly in central or northern Australia. From the 40 bird and 41 mammal species assessed, ~10 birds and ~7 mammals are estimated to become extinct within the next 20 years.
Reviewer: 
Mitchell Cowan
Full Reference: 
Geyle H. M., Woinarski J. C. Z., Baker G. B. et al. (2018) Quantifying extinction risk and forecasting the number of impending Australian bird and mammal extinctions. Pac. Conserv. Biol. 24.