Animals – Koalas & Co. In Need: Australia Wants to Stop Species Extinction – Wikiwand

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia’s Labor government wants to use a new action plan to better protect its unique flora and fauna from dangers and halt dramatic species extinctions. Environment Minister Tanya Plebersek’s ten-year plan initially focuses on 110 species and 20 areas of particularly high natural value, such as Kangaroo Island off South Australia and Kakadu National Park in the tropical north.

The Asia Pacific News Agency reported that the species that should be given priority were chosen by independent experts. These include endemic marsupials such as koalas and wombats, possums, red-tailed black macaws, Australian sea lions, and rocky brush-tailed kangaroos. Also on the menu are various types of fish, frogs and reptiles, as well as 30 species of plants.

Feral cats contribute to the extinction of species

The goal is to better protect species threatened by climate change and the loss of their natural habitats, and to revive endangered populations. Small animals in particular are hunted down by wild cats (Felis catus), which were introduced during European settlement and are now contributing to the extinction of various species.

“Our previous approach did not work,” Plebersk said on Tuesday. “Australia is the world leader in mammalian extinction.” The need for action has never been greater.

Just in July, the Minister presented a report on Australia’s State of the Environment (SOE 2021) – with shocking numbers: Since its colonization in 1788, 39 species of mammals have become extinct on the Red Continent, more than on any other continent. Since the previous report was published in 2016, 17 mammal species, 17 bird species and 19 frog species have been added to the list of endangered species or are now classified as “critically endangered”.

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The previous conservative government is under criticism

“By prioritizing 110 species and 20 sites, the plan will drive action where it is needed most,” Plebersk explained. Eventually, other endangered plants and animals in the same habitats will benefit from this as well. The Sydney Morning Herald described the minister’s “courageous” and “ambitious” plan. The previous Conservative government was heavily criticized for its negative stance towards environmental policy.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 221004-99-996379/4

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