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Victoria's faunal emblem is currently listed as Endangered with less than 2,000 individuals estimated to be living in the main population. Sadly they are predicted to decline approximately 90% over the next 20 years. Your adoption donations help support Zoos Victoria's captive breeding programs.
Tasmanian Devils were once widespread across Tasmania. Now on the endangered list, a shocking 85% of the wild population are affected by a facial-tumour. Zoos Victoria is committed to saving this unique species and is part of a captive breeding program, which will hopefully return a healthy population to the wild.
Red Kangaroos are the largest marsupials existing today. Males stand nearly 2.2m tall and weigh around 66kg. Their fur is not always red. Males range from pale red to brick red while females are a bluish grey. Although not currently under threat, adoption supports our conservation programs and helps to ensure survival for some of our wild friends.
Related to the Indian Wolf, the Dingo has become genetically distinct after 5,000 years isolation in Australia. Unlike domestic dogs, dingoes only breed once a year. Social hierarchy dictates that only pack leaders breed but all pack members help rear the pups. New research suggests that this iconic predator could help restore natural order to the bush.
Southern Corroboree Frog
The Southern Corroboree Frog is the most well known frog in Australia due to its bright colouring and tiny size, being only 25-30mm long. Critically endangered and on Zoos Victoria's 20 most threatened species list, Zoos Victoria has a captive breeding program releasing eggs and tadpoles into Kosciusko National Park to boost the wild population.
Barking Owls are known for their excellent sight and their ability to rotate their heads 270 degrees. They are often called the 'seeing owl'. They are widespread throughout Australia but it is important to protect their habitat as their preferred nesting places are slowly declining.
Western Lowland Gorilla
The Western Lowland Gorilla lives in troops of up to 30. Thought to be one of the closest genetic relations to humans, the Western Lowland Gorilla can even giggle! The leader of the group will usually be a dominant silverback male. Sadly, they are critically endangered, mainly due to mining for coltan, a metal used in mobile phones.
Asian Elephants in the wild have been poached for their tusks and populations have dwindled. Melbourne Zoo has a small herd of Asian Elephants and has been successful in breeding two calves in recent years - Mali, who is the first female elephant to be born in Australia and her cousin Ongard.
The Red Panda is named after the reddish colour of its long, soft fur, which provides camouflages against the red lichen found on trees in the dense mountain forests and bamboo thickets of the Himalayas, China and Burma. Threatened through population increase and habitat destruction, they are part of the captive breeding population at Melbourne Zoo.
The word 'hippopotamus' is Greek for 'river horse' and their closest relatives are whales and dolphins. The third largest animal in the world, they weigh up to three tonnes. Spending most of their time in or near large pools of water prevents dehydration, as they are virtually hairless with a thin top layer of skin and prone to moisture loss.
The cheetah is one of the fastest land animals on the planet reaching speeds of 100km per hour. Classed as vulnerable, cheetahs have never been present in large numbers due to their solitary nature. They suffer from habitat loss due to farming and are sadly, still hunted for their beautiful fur.
Australian Fur Seal
The Australian Fur Seal is well adapted to the cool waters of Victoria with its two layers of fur. You can see Fur Seals at our Wild Seas exhibit at Melbourne Zoo. Zoos Victoria has initiated a conservation campaign to improve the marine environment.
The meerkat is not a cat, it is a member of the civet family, which includes the otter and mongoose. Usually found in southern Africa, Meerkats spend most of the day foraging for food. Living in groups of 10–30, a lookout is posted a high viewpoint to warn of dangers such as jackals and hawks.
Our Victorian state animal emblem, the Leadbeater's Possum was thought to be extinct until found in the central highlands of Victoria. They continue to be threatened by the reduction through logging and wildfire of suitable hollow trees to build their bark nests. Zoos Victoria has begun an urgent recovery program as one of our priority native threatened species.
Aldabra Giant Tortoise
The Giant Tortoise is land based and lives in the Aldabra Atoll, a small group of islands in the Seychelles. One of the largest tortoises in the world, the wild population is at risk from introduced predators such as rats, pigs and dogs. Zoos Victoria advocate for these amazing animals.
The giraffe lives in the open woodlands and grasslands of East Africa. The tallest mammal in the world, they reach over five metres in height. The horns are part of its skull and are covered in fur. The Rothschild Giraffe is thought to be almost extinct in the wild due to poaching for their pelt, meat and tail.
Koalas are marsupials not bears! They give birth to tiny, barely formed young that finish development outside the mother's body, in a pouch. Mainly nocturnal, they spend about 18–20 hours sleeping because their metabolism is slow, an adaptation for handling a diet that is low in nutrition and hard to digest.
The beautiful Helmeted Honeyeater is Victoria's only indigenous bird and our state emblem. It is critically endangered with only three small semi-wild populations east of Melbourne in remnant streamside swamp forest. Our recovery program focuses on increasing the number of Helmeted Honeyeaters and reducing potential threats, with the aim of establishing a stable wild population.
Lions are the only cats to live in large family groups of 30 to 40 members. A pride consists of mostly related females, cubs and a small number of males. Generally females hunt as a team, using an ambush method to catch prey. The species is vulnerable due to hunting, loss of habitat and a decline in prey.
Southern White Rhinoceros
Southern White Rhinoceros is the second largest land mammal in the world, after the elephant. The biggest threat to the survival of the species is illegal poaching, which unfortunately still occurs throughout Africa. Zoos Victoria has become an advocate for the species, and by adopting a Rhino you can too!
Orange-Bellied Parrots are one of only two migratory parrot species in the world. With less than fifty of these beautiful birds remaining in the wild, they are at risk of extinction within three to five years. Zoos Victoria have begun an urgent recovery program as one of our priority native threatened species.
The Syrian Brown Bear can eat up to 15kg of food a day and their large bodies are covered in thick fur. Their digging skills are powered by a prominent shoulder hump of muscle and long non-retractable claws on their front paws. Brown Bears can run at speeds of up to 50km per hour, but for short bursts only.
Found on the 20c coin, the iconic Platypus is widespread in eastern Australia and common in Tasmania. The Platypus and Echidna are the only two mammals that can lay eggs. Experts are concerned Platypus populations are declining through habitat destruction, and from litter and detergent phosphates making their way into rivers.
Eastern Barred Bandicoot
Bandicoots were once widespread across grasslands and grassy woodlands of western Victoria and South Australia. With only three pockets of Eastern Barred Bandicoots in the wild the Zoo brought them back from the brink of extinction. A project for captive breeding, re-introduction and predator control will assist in the recovery process for this little animal.
The Plains Zebra are widely distributed through Africa and have broad stripes ranging from black to dark brown. As an ambassador of conservation initiatives, Plains Zebra help human communities live in balance with wildlife through the Zoos Victoria's Beads for Wildlife campaign.
The sturdy and mostly solitary wombat is native to Australia and is the largest burrowing herbivorous mammal in the world. Wombats are currently not under threat from human activity but Zoos Victoria's many conservation programs are helping to ensure survival of many wild species.
There are fourteen different species of the extraordinary tree kangaroo. Two species are residents of far north Queensland. Sadly, all tree-kangaroo species are under threat from habitat loss and hunting. Zoos Victoria is breeding Goodfellow's Tree-kangaroos and supporting efforts to save the Tenkile in Papua New Guinea.
The endangered Snow Leopard lives high in the mountainous regions of Asia. These beautiful animals are poached for their luxurious white fur and body parts, which are used in traditional Chinese medicines. Zoos Victoria, through Melbourne Zoo is a part of a captive breeding program to ensure that the species survives.
The Bilby were once found all through arid and semi-arid Australia but now our population is spread thin. The species has been extinct in South Australia since the 1930s. Zoos Victoria has become involved in a program to save the species and by adopting the Bilby you are helping to save them too!
The small Mountain Pygmy-Possum, is Australia's only hibernating marsupial. Endangered due to loss of habitat in Alpine regions of Victoria and NSW, there is thought to be less than 2000 remaining in the wild. Luckily, Zoos Victoria began a program for their recovery as one of our priority native threatened species.
The Sumatran Orang-utan is the largest tree-living mammal in the world. Once found all over Asia, they are now only found in small populations. Logging and the proliferation of palm oil plantations, as well as hunting have significantly affected the population. Zoos Victoria advocates for the species through its Don't Palm us Off campaign against Palm Oil.
The Sumatran Tiger is critically endangered with around 240 remaining in the wild. Despite hunting being illegal, tigers continue to be killed by poachers for their valuable skins and body parts, used mainly in traditional Chinese medicine. Zoos Victoria has become an advocate for the species by participating in international breeding programs.