Once considered extinct, the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect was rediscovered in 2001 on Ball's Pyramid, a volcanic outcrop 23 km off the coast of Lord Howe Island.

It remains a critically endangered species. The insects are wingless and nocturnal, feeding only on one species of shrub. There are 20-30 individuals left in the one remaining population.

The major threats

The Lord Howe Island Stick Insect was driven to the brink of extinction by Black Rats early last century, and the rats remain a serious threat.

The plan for fighting extinction

At the time of their rediscovery, very little was known about Lord Howe Island Stick Insects. Despite the rough seas around Ball's Pyramid making it impossible to land a boat, a rescue team managed to bring two breeding pairs back to mainland Australia in 2003.

Melbourne Zoo now plays a vital role in the captive breeding of this species. Once the rats are removed for good, we will reintroduce free-ranging Lord Howe Island Stick Insects onto Lord Howe Island.

How you can help

  • Raise community awareness and support for the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect.
  • By visiting our zoos, you are supporting our work to fight extinction.
  • Donate if you can. We are a not-for-profit organisation, and all donations go toward our important conservation efforts.
  • Discover more about local conservation events and join the growing number of wild activists taking action for local wildlife.
Population Trend:
Number left in the wild:
9 - 35

Conservation Status

  • LC
    Least Concern
  • NT
    Near Threatened
  • VU
  • EN
  • CR
    Critically Endangered
  • EW
    Extinct in the Wild
  • EX