Threatened Species Poems to Inspire You

The POEM FOREST Threatened Species Prize category (F-12) celebrates poems in response to threatened animals, plants and ecosystems in Australia. With Threatened Species Day (7 Sept) just around the corner, we are highlighting some of these poems written by students from all across the continent.

For more inspiration, join our free digital Threatened Species Day workshops to craft your own threatened species poem to submit to the POEM FOREST Prize - entries close on Friday 22 September!

The Regent Honeyeater

"Its voice follows in the wind
Like ribbon twirling and curling,
Looking for its precious chicks
Chirping for their mother, waiting to eat."

Dedicated to this gorgeous bird, Year 3 student Aliana's poem was shortlisted for last year's Threatened Species Prize. We love the tender similes and imagery Aliana uses to describe the Regent Honeyeater.

The Red Goshawk

"Seas of russet wings,
Tiny gems against
The blue bite of Sky"

Year 6 student Mischka from Balmain Public School captures this rare bird of prey in striking imagery - their poem was shortlisted for the Threatened Species Prize last year.

The Spined Echidna

"He digs down in the ground
For a safe place to hide.
And sometimes he might find a gem,
He peeks his head outside."

Foundation student Jackson's poem about the echidna was shortlisted for the Threatened Species Prize in 2021 - we love the cheeky image of the echidna peeking out of a hole.

The Great Barrier Reef

"The pure white sand, as smooth as a plaque, conceal venomous stonefish, with spines on their backs. Small tropical fish, of all colours and shapes, drift unaware, as a Wobbegong waits."

Proving that not all threatened species poems have to be about single organisms, last year's Threatened Species Prize winner Rohin wrote their poem about the Great Barrier Reef, showcasing its immense diversity with vivid imagery.

Quoll Under Daylight

"this gentle-ungentle thing comes out
stippled with mercy,
its trickle of jaw petaled
by a sacrificial goodness"

In an entry from this year, Year 11 student Pardis from Hobart College beautifully conveys the nature of the quoll.

Feeling inspired?

Attend our free digital workshops on September 7 and enter the Threatened Species Prize (F-12), awarded to the best poem written in response to Australia’s threatened species. See the list of threatened flora, fauna and ecological communities for more inspiration - can you find an animal or plant that doesn't get the attention it deserves?

Check out the full list of POEM FOREST Entry Categories, Prizes and Judges here.

Image: Regent Honeyeater, Wikimedia Commons.