Animals in Australia



Below you can find a complete list of Australian animals. We currently track 170 animals in Australia and are adding more every day!

Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world. It is also one of the driest continents on earth. Its huge landmass offers a varied landscape of deserts, tropical rainforests, and mountain ranges.  Australia is famous for its Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world. An island continent, it is surrounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It includes the Australian mainland, the island of Tasmania, and other small islands.

Australia’s unique geographic position and centuries of isolation created ecosystems that are unique in the world. Of its flora and fauna, 84% of its mammals, 45% of its birds, 93% of its reptiles and 90% of its fish are endemic. Australia has 755 species of reptile, which is more than any country in the world.

Australia’s Unique Animals

Australia’s most famous animals are its marsupials. Koalas, kangaroos, and wombats are some of the world’s best-loved animals.

Australia is also famous for its large, scary alligators and its many deadly snake species.

Australia has some unusual members of the monotreme family, including the platypus and echidna. In fact, when biologists first saw a platypus, some of them thought it was a crazy, elaborate hoax and not a real animal.

There are large numbers of animals that were introduced as domestic pets but are now wild. These include dingoes, water buffalos, camels, donkeys, pigs, goats, and betangs, which are cows that originated in Asia.

Some animals in Australia are not native, and they have caused problems to the native ecosystems. Cane toads, for instance, were introduced to control pests, but they are highly venomous to native animals and to humans. Cane toads are now considered a dangerous, invasive pest.

Red foxes were also introduced, and they have affected some small animal populations.

What Is the National Animal of Australia?

Australia’s national animal is the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus). Also known as the red giant kangaroo, it is the biggest land mammal that’s native to Australia.

Red kangaroos are plentiful in Australia, and they are listed as “least concern” for conservation status. Like all wildlife, however, they are protected by Australian law.

Koalas are not the national animal, but they are an important cultural symbol to Australians. Conservationists warn that these beloved animals may become extinct if habitat loss continues.

Which Animals Are Extinct or Endangered in Australia?

Despite its rich, unique biodiversity, Australia is at risk of losing valuable species. According to the Australian Geographic, it has the highest mammal extinction rate of any country in the world.

Australia currently has more than 500 animals on the endangered species list.

  • Spotted quoll: This large carnivorous marsupial has a spotted coat and a long snout. Its tendency to eat cane toads partially caused its population decline, mistaking them for native toads. Conservation efforts to establish them on toad-free islands have shown success.
  • Tasmanian devil: The largest carnivorous marsupial, this sharp-toothed, cute critter is extinct on the Australian mainland. Tasmanian devils only live on the island of Tasmania. Since Tasmanian devils can protect themselves from foxes and cats, conservationists are hopeful about their chances of making a comeback.
  • Black-flanked rock-wallaby: This kangaroo-like marsupial lives in the rocky areas of the desert. The Australian government has listed the rock wallaby as a priority for conservation efforts.
  • Eastern curlew: The world’s largest shorebird depends on safe, protected wetlands to survive. This bird eats crabs and mollusks, but habitat loss has led to an 80% population decline.

Australian Animals

Albatross

The largest wingspan of any bird in the world!

Angora Goat

Each adult Angora goat produces about 12 inches of mohair annually while kids have about 8 inches.

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Australian Bulldog

The Aussie is a strong swimmer, a good workout in nice weather.

Australian Cattle Dog

High energy levels and active minds!

Australian Gecko

Geckos have 100 teeth and continually replace them.

Australian Kelpie Dog

Friendly, intelligent and energetic!

Australian Labradoodle

The "Australian" just refers to where the breed originated

Australian Mist

First bred in the 1700s!

Australian Shepherd

Sweet, faithful and affectionate!

Australian Terrier

Spirited, alert and courageous!

Avocet

Has a curved, upturned beak!

Banana Spider

People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.

Bandicoot

Bandicoot Many species are endangered or extinct!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Beaglier

These dogs have great sniffer abilities

Bearded Dragon

Can grow to up 24 inches long!

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bichpoo

Despite its small size, the alert nature and sharp bark of this canine make it a good watch dog.

Bilby

In Australia, the chocolate bilby replaces the chocolate bunny for Easter.

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Bird Of Paradise

There are around 50 different species!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Budgerigar

Natively found in Australia!

Burrowing Frog

Found close to marshes, streams and lakes!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Camel

Can survive without water for 10 months!

Camel Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!

Cashmere Goat

Cashmere goat are named after Kashmir regions of India and Pakistan

Cassowary

Can reach speeds of 30mph!

Cat

First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!

Caterpillar

The larvae of a moth or butterfly!

Catfish

There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Centipede

There are about 3,000 documented species!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Christmas Island Red Crab

During the breeding season, roads can dangerous for cars as well as the crab. Their shells are so hard they can puncture tires.

Cicada

Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans

Cockatoo

Highly social, smart, and chatty bird.

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.

Cow

There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!

Crab

There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings

Crane

Many are critically endangered species!

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Cuscus

Has a long, strong prehensile tail!

Dingo

Natively found on the Australian continent!

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Echidna

Also known as the Spiny Anteater!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Emu

The largest bird in Australia!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

Fallow deer

The fallow deer has more variation in its coat colors than most other deer.

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Fiddler Crab

The fiddler crab gets its name from the motion the males make with their over-sized claw during the mating ritual.

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Frilled Lizard

Mainly lives in the trees!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Bat

Among the largest bats in the world

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Gouldian Finch

The male Gouldian finch bobs its head and fluffs its feathers to court a female.

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Green Tree Frog

Green tree frogs breathe through their skin

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Highland Cattle

Natively found in the Scottish Highlands!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Kangaroo

Females have a deep pouch on their front!

Koala

Spends up to 80% of the time sleeping or resting!

Kookaburra

The laughing kookaburra is one of four kookaburra species.

Koolie

The name "koolie" comes from the German mispronunciation of "collie."

Labradoodle

Friendly and energetic mix-breed!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Little Penguin

The smallest species of penguin!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Lorikeet

The lorikeet has a long brush-like tongue with fine hairs on it

Lungfish

The lungfish first evolved almost 400 million years ago.

Magpie

They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Mallard

With an appropriate tail wind, the mallard can travel hundreds of miles a day

Maltese Shih Tzu

Both parent breeds, the Maltese and Shih Tzu, once entertained royalty

Marine Toad

Produces a toxin used in arrow darts!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mole Cricket

Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.

Monarch Butterfly

During migration, Monarch Butterflies may travel 250 or more miles each day.

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!

Moorhen

Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Myna Bird

For a nice price, the mynah bird makes a good pet.

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Numbat

There are less than 1,000 left in the wild!

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Pademelon

Inhabits the jungles of the far east!

Parakeet

Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Peacock Spider

They can jump up to 10 centimeters (40 times their body size) and see the full rainbow spectrum of light, including UV.

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pigeon

They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Platypus

One of the only mammals to lay eggs!

Poochon

The Poochon was first bred in Australia.

Possum

There are 69 species on the Australian continent!

Potoroo

They can carry items with their tail.

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Quokka

Makes runways through the long grasses!

Quoll

Found across Australia and Papua New Guinea!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Red Fox

The red fox actually has many different variations of fur, including silver and brown.

Redback Spider

The redback spiders found in New Caledonia differ from other populations in that they don’t practice sexual cannibalism and don’t bite people as much.

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

Robin

There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!

Rodents

The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.

Savanna Goat

Savanna goats have only existed since 1957.

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Dragon

Inhabits tropical coastal waters of Australia!

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Silky Terrier

Silky terriers can be trained to participate in many events, including herding, agility, rally, tracking and fly ball.

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Slug

They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Striped Rocket Frog

Long powerful hind legs!

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.

Tenterfield Terrier

These terriers have quick minds and fast feet making them excellent for agility competitions.

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Terrier

Terriers were once the greatest dogs in the world.

Thorny Devil

Found only on mainland Australia!

Thrush

The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Tree Kangaroo

It’s the only macropod that lives in trees.

Turtles

Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.

Wallaby

There are roughly 30 different species!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

Water Dragon

Spends most of it's time in the trees!

White Butterfly

This butterfly determines the smell and taste of a flower with its feet.

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Wombat

Spends most of the day underground!

Woodlouse

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodlouse Spider

Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.

Zebra Finch

The male zebra finch creates a unique song by drawing inspiration from its parent or tutor

Australian Animals List

Animals in Australia FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What Animals Live in Australia?

Australia has many exotic animals.

Southern cassowary: This flightless bird resembles an ostrich but with a large blue head, a crest and huge claws. Cassowaries can run, swim and use their claws to fight.

Laughing kookaburra: This small, pretty bird is famous for its high-pitched call that sounds like a crazy laugh. It usually makes the sound at dawn and at dusk.

Pellucid hawk moth: This moth has transparent wings without scales, which makes it unique among members of the Lepidoptera family.

Bats: Australia has some of the biggest bats in the world. They can have wingspans of five feet and weigh more than two pounds. They are sometimes called megabats or flying foxes.

How Many Deadly Animals Are There in Australia?

Australia has many scary animals, and it’s known for its deadly snakes. It is the only continent where venomous snakes outnumber non-venomous ones. The eastern brown snake, inland taipan and eastern tiger snake are all scary. The eastern tiger snake has caused more deaths by snake bite than any other snake in Australia.

Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas): One of the most feared predators in the water, the bull shark will eat anything it can catch.

Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus): Also known as the estuarine crocodile, this crocodile is fast, aggressive and extremely scary. This fierce hunter is the biggest reptile in the world. It can weigh up to 1000 pounds. Steve Irwin, the famous Australian “Crocodile Hunter,” was known for his work rescuing these massive beasts.

Australia also has freshwater crocodiles, but they are not dangerous to humans unless you’re crazy enough to deliberately provoke them.

The Sydney funnel-web (Atrax robustus) is one of the world’s most dangerous spiders.

What Is the Most Dangerous Animal in Australia?

Box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri): This transparent animal has no teeth or claws, but it has the strongest venom in the world. A typical box jellyfish has 15 long tentacles, and each contains enough poison to kill several grown adults.

What Is the Most Beautiful Animal in Australia?

Australia has many animals that are utterly adorable. Most people are crazy about cuddly koalas or Tasmanian devils. It’s also impossible to resist quokkas, with their smiling faces and friendly natures. In fact, quokkas top our list of the 10 cutest animals.

Despite this stiff competition, we choose sugar gliders (Petaurus brevicep) as Australia’s loveliest creature. Native to Australia, sugar gliders are tiny, gorgeous marsupials with pink feet and enormous eyes. They get their name from their love of sap and nectar. They can also glide from one tree branch to another.

Australia has many amazing animals you won’t find anywhere else. That’s why its zoos and wildlife sanctuaries attract millions of visitors every year.