At least 525 species of native fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals are known to have lived in this region in the past.
Today there are probably 427 native species; about 81% of all the species ever recorded.
But species retention is not evenly spread. For example, the Bass Coast, South Gippsland and Islands area has retained 59% of the species known to have existed there while 73% of species are estimated to persist in the Urban Melbourne area.
Preventing further local extinctions will be difficult. Immediate action may not stop more species sliding into local extinction as a legacy of past habitat and population losses.
Diversity is important because every animal species affects the abundance and health of others. Any loss of species threatens the health and resilience of ecosystems and the benefits we receive from them.
Knowing the diversity of native species is important but it does not provide the whole picture. This strategy also asseses the population health of selected ‘indicator’ species. This will help us predict whether overall diversity is likely to be maintained.
Diversity of native animal species
Health of populations of indicator species
A method has been developed to assess the condition of native animals. This assessment of native animals is used as the basis for setting targets for the future (Targets). Lead organisations are committed to achieving the targets. Arrangements are in place to monitor and report on progress.