Native animals in the South East region

The South East region is home to a large number of different native animals (fauna).

Why is fauna important?

Native animals are important for many reasons:

  • as indicators of healthy ecosystems, waterways and habitats – for example frogs in wetlands
  • native animals play important roles in ecosystems such as; keeping some animals from becoming too numerous (predators), managing vegetation growth (herbivores) or providing food, and recycling organic matter (decomposers)
  • the variety of native animals and the ecosystems in which they live contribute to the quality of life we have
  • each year, thousands of tourists visit the region to see our native plants and animals
  • the vast majority of locals enjoy seeing wildlife and value their presence in our landscapes
  • we like to know there is wildlife near us, and this knowledge helps us to realise that there is more to our world than what we own and control, and that there are many reasons to conserve and protect the natural world
  • some native animals even have economic benefits such as Kangaroos, Emus, Yabbies and native fish, and many more are as yet unknown.

Why manage fauna?

We need to manage native animals because nearly everything we do affects them. We share their landscapes and ecosystems, including the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the places we live in and the places we visit. The world human population is expanding rapidly, placing great demands on our environment and its resources, including wild animals and their habitats. If we did not manage native animals, we risk more becoming endangered and extinct.

Threats to fauna

  • habitat loss is the single biggest threat to native animals both locally and globally
  • habitat fragmentation makes it difficult for animals to move from one patch to another
  • habitat alteration such as the loss of understorey shrubs, logs, food plants, old trees with hollows
  • feral animals which are competitors, predators and poisoners to native animals
  • barriers to movement within and between areas of habitat
  • hunting of native animals
  • road-kill can cause local extinction in some regions and is a constant welfare problem
  • disruptive human activities such as unsustainable tourism, recreational activities and industrial practices in important areas of habitat.

Goanna Watch

Three large goanna species occur in south-eastern Australia; the Heath Goanna, Sand Goanna and Lace Monitor. While the Heath Goanna is still relatively common on Kangaroo Island, it is considered Endangered in the South East region. Natural Resources South East has partnered with University of SA’s Discovery Circle and other natural resources regions in South Australia to find out more about the Heath Goanna. We need to know where goannas are in order to help them, so if you have seen a goanna recently, please record your sighting at the Goanna Watch Discovery Circle website.

Native Frogs and Woodland Birds

We have produced factsheets featuring frogs and woodland birds that are found in the South East. They include information on where they can be found, some of their important features and management tips. 

Native birds we are working to protect

Bush stone-curlew

Name: Bush stone-curlew
Scientific name: Burhinus grallarius
Regional status: Endangered
Related links:


Hooded plover

Name: Hooded plover
Scientific name: Thinornis rubricollis
Regional status: Endangered
Related links:


Malleefowl (Nganamara)

Name: Malleefowl (Nganamara)
Scientific name: Leipoa ocellata
Regional status: Endangered
Related links:


Orange-bellied parrot

Name: Orange-bellied parrot
Scientific name: Neophema chrysogaster
Regional status: Critically endangered
Related links:

Wildlife we are working to protect

Southern bell frog

Name: Southern bell frog
Scientific name: Litoria raniformis
Regional status: Vulnerable
Related links:


Southern brown bandicoot

Name: Southern brown bandicoot
Scientific name: Isoodon obesulus obesulus
Regional status: Vulnerable
Related links:

Further information