Steps we can take to save our threatened species

Media release

7 September 2019

Australia’s domestic cat owners can help save 61 million birds and 53 million reptiles by marking today’s Threatened Species Day with a resolve to ensure responsible pet management.

As the Morrison Government invests $100 million in an Environment Restoration Funding that includes new predator free safe havens for threatened species, koala protection areas and hospitals, feral cat programs and $170 million in Regional Land Partnerships projects targeting threatened species and ecological communities, it is important to also look at the key role of urban environments in protecting our native species.

The simple act of buying a native plant on Threatened Species Day to attract native wildlife, or of ensuring that domestic cats and dogs are contained, micro-chipped and de-sexed can make a significant difference to our wildlife populations.

“On average pet cats will kill 75 animals per year,” Australia’s Threatened Species Commissioner Dr Sally Box explains.

“People love their cats and get a lot of joy from them, but keeping them well managed and reducing the risk of strays is a real responsibility.”

Across Australia, feral, stray and domestic cats kill more than one million birds and 1.8 million reptiles every day.

They have been implicated in the extinction of at least 20 mammal species and currently threaten another 124 nationally listed species.

Threatened Species Day raises awareness of plants and animals at risk of extinction and celebrates the work being done by conservationists, researchers, volunteers, Indigenous land managers and community members.

The Australian Government is committed to protecting and improving the conservation of Australia’s threatened species.

Further information is available on

Minister for the Environment