Threatened populations

Threatened populations are groups of native plants and animals likely to become extinct in NSW in the near future.

A population is a group of organisms of the same species occupying a particular area.

The coastal emu on the NSW north coast, the glossy black cockatoo in the Riverina and black cypress pine on the Woronora Plateau are examples of the 50 or so endangered populations in NSW.

Coastal emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) endangered species.The coastal emu

The coastal emu population on the north coast of NSW is critically endangered, with as few as 100 remaining. It is of significant conservation value as the last known population in northern coastal NSW.

Many plants are dependent on the emu for germination and distribution of their seeds over distances of up to 50km. No other species can fulfil that role.

Recent decades have seen a dramatic decline. Much of the impact is felt at the nesting stage of the emu’s life with ground-nesting exposing the adults, eggs and chicks to a range of threats from predators, fire, machinery and other human disturbance.


To be listed as endangered under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, a population must have undergone a very large reduction in number, distribution or genetic diversity, be affected by a threatening process and face a high risk of extinction in the near future.

Endangered populations are managed with priorities action statements. New conservation projects to manage endangered populations will be developed under the Saving our Species program.

See the full list of endangered populations in NSW.