On International Day for Biological Diversity we acknowledge the links between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and Australia’s iconic plants and animals.
More than 70% of our plants and animals are native to Australia and cannot be found in the wild anywhere else in the world. This includes 93% of our reptiles, 69% of our mammals and 46% of our birds.
The names of many of our iconic plants and animals come from Aboriginal words, including:
Other names originating from the Dharug language, spoken around the Botany Bay area where many unique plants and animals were first seen by European naturalists, include:
Learn more about the importance of acknowledging and reviving Indigenous languages on our website arts.gov.au/IY2019.
Waratah photo courtesy of the Department of the Environment and Energy.