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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Australia leads on extinction rate: report

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Australia has lost more mammals to extinction than any other country with a new report urging the federal government to take action on the crisis.

The Australian Conservation Foundation report published in March found since colonisation 29 mammals had become extinct and were lost forever in Australia, compared to just one in the United States.

“For all its (Australia’s) natural beauty, the sad reality is that Australia leads the world on extinction,” the report said.

Many of the extinctions have happened recently with Australia losing three vertebrates, a bat, a marsupial and a skink since 2009, the report says.

The foundation blames the federal government’s failure to protect critical habitats.
Critical habitats relate to protecting and preserving the habitats of threatened species but despite there being more than 1700 threatened species and ecological communities across the country, the government has only identified five critical habitats.

ACF healthy ecosystems campaigner Jess Abrahams said it was “ridiculous” no critical habitat had been listed on the register for any species since 2005.

“Our current law provides patently inadequate protection to prevent the destruction of critical habitat,” Ms Abrahams said in a statement last week.

“Without proper protections, beloved species like the leadbeater’s possum could well be extinct within a few years. If we’re going to protect our native species we must fix these laws and we must do it now.”

The report warns that if the government continues to fail to protect critical habitats, Australia will fail to meet its international obligations to conserve nature.

The foundation’s report makes several recommendations including the establishment of new national environmental laws, a new national critical habitat register and the establishment of an independent environmental agency.

It’s also called on the government to create a $200 million annual threatened species fund to directly help with recovery plans for threatened species.

Federal environment minister Josh Frydenberg has been contacted for comment.


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6 COMMENTS

  1. I would like an audit on the species of frogs used by Green confrontationists to stall development , how come once these developments are built we hear no more protests of the mass extermination of the habitat of these mysterious frogs .

    • My brain can’t cope with the stupidity of such comment. Once the development is done, what are you going to fight for?!! Ignorant [person] who obviously doesn’t care at all about environment or protecting species… and that’s why Australia is where it is…

      • The Tugan bypass is an excellent example , don’t blame us that your brain can’t comprehend reality .
        What age group are you in ?

  2. Our government’s attitude to our land and wildlife is appalling and shameful!!! The law needs to be amended so that politicians in power are always held accountable for their decisions. How can anything change while politicians have legal amnesty? Their short sighted decisions lead to our unique wildlife extinction and the insane selling of Australian land into greedy foreign corporation who rape and pillage the land leading to poisoning the water tableland and uglify our beautiful country deeming the local landowners stuck with valueless land. How can it be that we must keep signing endless exhausting petitions for the same issues over and over again in desperate effort to stop constant destruction our governments allows to happen? And to top that off, our politicians do their short term in office and retire on a ridiculous pension without any ramifications for their actions while in office.

  3. I would like to see species listed before they become critically endangered. Merely being ‘vulnerable’ is enough for me to think that it is far more economical and plausible to bring a species back from ‘vulnerable’ than to wait until it is ‘critically endangered’ before it can receive any funding to bring it back from the brink. There should be a strong story between the chance of success, the population dynamics and the economic cost to the public purse. It’s so much harder work when there are fewer creatures left and the risk of failure of funds is so much higher if the species does not survive. Let’s bring some common sense back into funding cycles and do the hard work to save them before it is too late.

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