Australia & New Zealand | Sustainability

National Threatened Species Day: Here's how we can help Australia's great outdoors

Recently updated on January 30th, 2024 at 07:00 pm

When you think of a gorgeous holiday in Australia, you might imagine pristine golden beaches and lush ancient rainforests. Or the colorful Great Barrier Reef and the rugged beauty of the Australian Outback. And you’re probably thinking about cute and cuddly koalas or kangaroos. Australia’s great outdoors are a captivating destination for travelers, offering a diverse array of landscapes and unique wildlife experiences. However, beneath this natural splendor lies a sobering truth – Australia is grappling with an extinction crisis that threatens its iconic local fauna.

When is National Threatened Species Day?

Every year on September 7th, Australia observes National Threatened Species Day. This solemn day is dedicated to more than 2,000 plant and animal species currently listed as ‘threatened.’ The day is a stark reminder that the very treasures that make an Australian vacation unforgettable are in peril.

The sad story that encapsulates the struggle of Australia’s wildlife is that of the Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine. National Threatened Species Day actually marks the death date of the last thylacine in captivity in 1936. This enigmatic creature fell victim to hunting, habitat loss, and invasive species. These issues and challenges are still faced by today’s threatened species list.

What is the state of Australia’s wildlife today?

Statistics from the recently released State of the Environment Report reveal that habitat loss and degradation are the leading threats. These issues affect nearly 70% of Australia’s threatened species. From the majestic black cockatoo to the diminutive pygmy possum and the iconic and beloved koala, these special animals may face the same fate as the Tasmanian tiger unless we take swift and decisive action.

How can travelers help Australia’s wildlife?

Each one of us can play a role in helping to preserve Australia’s great outdoors. Whether you’re planning an Australian vacation or simply passionate about the unique biodiversity of the land down under, there are things you can do to ensure that the wonders of this land endure for generations to come. 

At Trafalgar we realise travel can – and should – be a force for good. We want our trips to have a positive impact on the places we go and people we meet. It’s why we introduced our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® experiences and have at least one on most Australia trips. When you choose to travel with Trafalgar, you can feel good knowing you’re treading on foreign soil with respect and care.

Let’s take a look at experiences that support, protect and celebrate Australia’s remarkable natural heritage as a tourist.

RELATED BLOG: How can we make tourism more sustainable? Here’s how

Visit Australia’s Red Center and help preserve wildlife

As you gaze up at the 348-meter-high Uluru as the sun sets, sending the Outback sky into vibrant shades of red, yellow, and pink, you’ll feel more alive than ever. Drink in a magical sunset surrounded by spinfex grass and red dirt while deep in Outback Australia. On our 13-day Australian Highlights trip you’ll MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® through your visit to Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. Your visit to Australia’s National Parks helps contribute to protecting the country’s wildlife and wilderness. It means spiritual places like Uluru – and the fauna and flora that surround it – will be protected and preserved for generations to come.

TAKE THE TRIP: Australian Highlights

Plant trees near the Great Barrier Reef

When you venture north to sunny Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll not only witness this UNESCO World Heritage listed marvel. After exploring the lush rainforests and nature of the tropics on our 9-day Contrasts of Australia trip, you’ll put your newfound passion into practice. Our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience supports a Rainforest Restoration project. Your group will visit a nearby Notophyll Vine Forest, an area older than the Amazon. Here you’ll help protect the natural wonder by planting native trees. Feel good contributing to a mission that protects this rare type of dry forest from development. Its restoration ensures it remains a wildlife corridor for native birds.

TAKE THE TRIP: Contrasts of Australia

RELATED BLOG: Moments that matter: our Travel Directors share their favorite cultural experiences

Support businesses that support nature

As a travel business that’s serious about sustainability, we love to collaborate and work with other tourism businesses that do good in Australia’s great outdoors. Wehn you travel to Tasmania with us you’ll likely board a four-hour wildlife cruise with our friends at Wineglass Bay Cruises, a company with a dual mission. This small boat operator is committed to the conservation of this environment through a range of means. Each year they support tree plantings, clean up marine debris, restore island ecosystems, and contribute to marine conservation of threatened and endangered wildlife. So while you cruise around the stunning Freycinet Peninsula, past Coles Bay, waterfalls, sea caves, and towering pink granite cliffs, you can feel good knowing this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience helps to protect the area’s wildlife.

TAKE THE TRIP: Perfect Tasmania

Find wildlife on Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is not just sanctuary for kangaroos – it’s a special sanctuary for all wildlife. If you join our Great Ocean Road & Kangaroo Island Escape or Tastes of Southern Australia trips you’ll explore the island in-depth. That includes visits to the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch in Flinders Chase National Park. You’ll join a private educational ecology tour of the Trafalgar-sponsored Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Sadly this sanctuary was badly affected in the 2020 bushfires, which burnt 96% of the national park. Your visit assists with their bushfire recovery plan and wildlife rehabilitation program, ensuring these species recover and thrive for centuries to come. On the same day you’ll also visit Seal Bay Conservation Park. Here you’ll meet rare sea lions in one of the country’s most important breeding colonies.

TAKE THE TRIP: Great Ocean Road & Kangaroo Island Escape or Tastes of Southern Australia

Ready to explore Australia’s great outdoors? Tell us where you want to go and the wildlife you hope to meet in the comments…

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