It was on this day in 1936 that the world farewelled the last Tasmanian Tiger with the species, sadly, becoming extinct. Behind-the-scenes at Perth Zoo, we’re working hard to prevent several of Australia’s threatened native species from facing the same fate.

For many years our Native Species Breeding Program (NSBP) has been making a positive impact on several West Australian species, including the critically endangered Western Swamp Tortoise as well as the endangered Numbat and Dibbler. 

Western Swamp Tortoise

The Western Swamp Tortoise is one of the most endangered reptiles in Australia! In fact, for a century it was believed the Western Swamp Tortoise was extinct until a young boy stumbled upon one back in 1953! 

Thirty years ago, there were fewer than 50 individuals remaining on the planet, but we’ve worked hard and have bred more than 1,000 to help boost their fragile population!


The Numbat has suffered a staggering decrease in population since the arrival of Europeans in Australia. These charismatic little marsupials once roamed extensively across southern Australia – from western NSW, through South Australia, southern Northern Territory to the south-west of Western Australia. These days though, only around 1,000 individuals are left in the south-west of Western Australia. 

But there’s some slither of hope for this Aussie battler! Since 1993, we’ve released over 278 Zoo-bred Numbats into the wild – we’ve even had reports of the females finding boyfriends and having joeys!


The Dibbler is not only an attractive little Western Australian marsupial but they’re also one of the rarest mammals in the world! Just like the Western Swamp Tortoise, the endangered Dibbler was once thought to be extinct - until a chance rediscovery in 1996!

Together, with the Dibbler Recovery Team led by the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife, we’ve released 945 Zoo-bred Dibblers into protected habitat to get this unique critter back on their paws. 

Through the generous support of our community, Perth Zoo is the only Zoo in the world breeding Numbats and Dibblers for release to help boost their wild populations. You can help save wildlife and contribute to this vital work by donating to Perth Zoo here