Animals (Australia)

Where can I find information about animals in Australia?

Image: Koala having a rest by Holger Link on Unsplash.

Entry last updated: 21/08/19

Introduction

Australia has many different kinds of animals. They include native animals that are indigenous to Australia and are not found anywhere else, and introduced animals that have been brought to Australia by humans (including pests). Some are domestic animals (including pets and farm animals) that live with people in their home or farm.

General websites

These sites have good information about Australian animals in general, whether they are native or have been introduced.

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is a clear, easy-to-follow website with pictures and information on a wide variety of Australian animals.

  • Go to REGIONS at the top of the page and scroll down to find Australia.
  • You can also refine your search by using the drop down menus - category, conservation status or habitat.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Smithsonian's Animal Index

Smithsonian Animal Index has facts about more than 1,500 animals across 300 different species. There is heaps of information about each animal, and great photos too.

  • Search for the keyword 'Australia' to bring up many animal entries.
  • Choose the animal you want to find facts about, like Emu or Green Tree Python.
Tips: A website’s address (URL) can give you a hint about how reliable it is. Look for addresses in the results that include .gov or .edu in the URL. These are quality sites from overseas government or educational organisations.

Australian Animals

This site has photos and facts about both native animals and introduced animals. It was written by an eleven year old boy and his dad. Remember to check the information you find against other websites and books.

  • Filter the results by choosing the type of animals you want to look at.
  • Hover over each photo to get some quick facts, or go to 'read more' to see all the information.
Tips: Some websites have advertisements (or ads) which ask us to buy something or tell us to ‘click here’. It’s best to ignore these ads and focus on the information we’re looking for.

Native animals

Australia has many unique native animals. Native animals are animals that are indigenous to, or come from, a specific country. Australia is very large and has different states, so there are lots of different government websites about native animals. Here are some good sites from different parts of Australia.

Office of Environment and Heritage

This is a government website from the state of New South Wales.

  • Hover over the Topics tab and look under Animals and plants.
  • Go to Native animals to find out which animals are protected, as well as some native animal facts.

Department of Environment and Science

This is a government website from the state of Queensland.

  • Go to the Environment tab and choose Wildlife and ecosystems.
  • This has information about local animal wildlife, including a A to Z list of animals.

Natural resources, Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges

This is a government website from the state of South Australia.

Tips: We like sites that are from government or other reputable organisations, because we can trust the information. You can sometimes tell these sites by their web address – they might have .gov or .edu in their address – or by looking at their About us or Contact pages.

Animal Diversity Web

Animal Diversity Web is a great place to look for information about individual animal species around the world. These articles include text, pictures of living animals, photographs, and movies or recordings.

  • Search for 'Australia' using the box at the right hand side of the page.
  • Entries include heaps of facts about animal habitat, lifespan, behaviour and food habits, as well as pictures and photographs.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg Australia. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.

Introduced animals (pests)

Australia is very large and there are lots of different government websites about animal pests. Here are some good sites from different parts of Australia.

Pests, weeds & diseases

This is a government website from the state of Western Australia.

  • Use the left-hand menu to find the section on Pests.
  • Choose Pest animals and scroll down the page to find articles about different pests.

Agriculture Victoria

This is a government website from the state of Victoria.

  • Go to the Agriculture tab.
  • Choose Pests, diseases and weeds.
  • Select Pest animals and scroll down for more articles.
Tips: We like sites that are from government or other reputable organisations, because we can trust the information. You can sometimes tell these sites by their web address – they might have .gov or .edu in their address – or by looking at their About us or Contact pages.

Domestic animals (including pets and farm animals)

There are many domestic animals in Australia. This section has some great information about farm animals and pets in Australia.

Department of Primary Industries

This is a New South Wales government website about using natural resources to make food or other products, which includes animal farming.

Agriculture Victoria

This site is from the government of the state of Victoria, and it's all about different types of farming in that state.

  • Go to the Agriculture tab and choose Livestock.
  • Use the menu on the side of the page to find the animal you are looking for.

There is also information here about common pets in Australia.

  • Go to the Pets tab and use the side menu to look at common pets.
Tips: A website’s address (URL) can give you a hint about how reliable it is. Look for addresses in the results that include .gov or .edu in the URL. These are quality sites from overseas government or educational organisations.

Adopt a pet - RSPCA

This site is from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in Australia. Go to the drop-down menu that says Animal Type to see a list of the types of pets that are available in Australia.

Tips: Some websites have .au, .nz, .uk or other codes in their url. This can tell you which country this website comes from eg .au is from Australia or .nz is from New Zealand. You can check the ‘About Us’ link on the website for more information.

Books

There are many books about Australian animals - check out your local public or school library to see what they have.

Some recommended titles are:

Unique! Australian Animals by Teresa Domnauer

Topsy Turvy World: fascinating Australian Animals by Kirsty Murray

The Book of Australian Animals by Charles Hope

The Australian Animal Atlas by Leonard Cronin

Australian Backyard Naturalist by P. Macinnis.

SCIS no: 1934882

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