Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Brooklyn Sanctuary - Wildlife

Southern Cassowary
Southern Cassowary – Brooklyn Sanctuary

Almost 500 native birds, mammals, frogs and reptiles are known to occur within Brooklyn or in the immediate vicinity of the property. AWC is unaware of any other property in Australia with a greater diversity of terrestrial vertebrate fauna. These numbers are expected to increase when surveys are conducted, as the woodlands of the western section of the property are biologically unexplored.

The global significance of Brooklyn is highlighted by comparing it to two of the world’s most famous national parks, Kakadu National Park and Yosemite National Park (USA). Kakadu National Park is 33 times larger than Brooklyn while Yosemite is five times larger than Brooklyn. Both Kakadu and Yosemite are inscribed on the World Heritage list. However, Brooklyn has a higher level of terrestrial vertebrate diversity than both Kakadu and Yosemite.

Biodiversity Levels - Brooklyn, Kakadu and Yosemite (USA)
  Brooklyn Kakadu Yosemite
Mammal species 89 60 86
Bird species 293 280 239
Reptile species 76 117 21
Amphibian species 36 25 9
TOTAL 494 482 355


Over 40% of all Australia’s bird species have been recorded within Brooklyn.

In fact, the area in which Brooklyn is located has been described as ‘probably the richest birding area in Australia’ [Nielsen, Birds of Queensland’s Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef, (1996)].

As indicated above, Birdlife International has included a part of Brooklyn within an Endemic Bird Area, recognising it as one of the planet’s most important sites for bird conservation. Birdlife International specifically identifies Mt Lewis as a critically important area within the Wet Tropics Endemic Bird Area. A large part of Mt Lewis lies within Brooklyn. It is home to a range of Wet Tropics endemic birds including the Golden Bowerbird, Pied Monarch, Atherton Scrubwren, Chowchilla and the Lesser Sooty Owl.

Other iconic species found on Brooklyn include the Blue-faced Parrot-Finch, Southern Cassowary and the Red Goshawk.


It is extraordinary to find one property that is home to nearly 30% of all Australian mammals. Notable mammal species recorded on Brooklyn include a suite of highland ringtail possums, the Musky Rat-kangaroo and Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroo as well as dry woodland species such as the Spectacled Hare-wallaby. A remarkable 16 threatened mammals occur on Brooklyn.

Reptiles and Frogs

Brooklyn is a refuge for nearly 20% of Australia’s frog species including 11 rare and threatened frogs. It is likely that the reptile list for Brooklyn will increase substantially when dedicated surveys are carried out.

Threatened Species

Forty-eight threatened fauna species (listed as rare or threatened under State or Federal legislation) find refuge on Brooklyn.

  • 14 birds including the Buff-breasted Button-quail, the Red Goshawk and the Southern Cassowary.
  • 19 mammals including the Yellow-bellied Glider, the Northern Bettong, the Spotted-tailed Quoll and the Spectacled Flying-fox.
  • 11 frogs including several species that have suffered alarming declines in recent years.
  • 4 reptiles.