polluted water cascading over river waterfall

After cascading ecological catastrophes in the 90s, China spent 20 years seriously investing in sustainability. Now that effort is paying off.

diver looking down through blue waters at whale shark

They're elusive, whale sharks, so we're keeping an eye on them using satellite tracking to see how far they travel and, in a world first, taking DNA samples to see just how old they are. Here they are on Ningaloo reef.

tree trunk

Climbing up an 80 m tower is all in a day's work for some scientists. Read how they've been watching over Australia's defining flora - eucalypts - as part of our land ecosystem observatory.

Two people up a tree

Timm Döbert spent three years working towards his PhD based in a research camp in Borneo’s lowland rainforests. It was a chance to study close at hand the human impact on a diverse ecosystem – and a privileged opportunity to marvel at the diversity of life on Earth. It’s also a photographer’s paradise. He and colleagues have shared with us some of their favourite images.

large boulders in national park

Indigenous and western systems of knowledge are working hand-in-hand to heal and sustain Djandak – the land – and Jaara – the people – in Victoria’s Dja Dja Wurrung Country.

A small round pond of water in arid landscape

At the Edgbaston springs in Central Queensland, a precarious ecosystem unknown to science until 25 years ago, scientists are uncovering a treasure trove of species found nowhere else on the planet. Together with the springs ecosystems in other arid areas of the Great Artesian Basin, these species are revealing a fascinating evolutionary tale.

stamp with bird

De-extinction is closer to reality than you think. 'Decision science' can help examine the feasibility of bringing species back and likely impact on existing environmental and species management programs, and help answer those nagging questions: 'Because we can, does it mean we should?', and 'what happens if we do?'


Biodiversity is a key part of our national identity. Here is a snapshot, in snapshots, of Australia's diverse animal world from the 2016 State of the Environment Report.

A stronger national approach to land use and sustainability has developed since the last State of the Environment Report. Read highlights from the latest report on the state of the Australian continent.