Koalas & Co. in need: Australia wants to stop species extinction

Since its colonization in 1788, 39 species of mammals have become extinct in Australia. In order to counteract rapidly dwindling biodiversity, Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek wants to take targeted action.

Sydney (AFP) – The Australian labor government wants to better protect its unique animal and plant world from danger with a new action plan and halt the species’ dramatic extinction. Environment Minister Tanya Pleibersk’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 have been selected by independent experts. These include endemic marsupials such as koalas and wombats, possums, red-tailed black parrot, Australian sea lion, and brush-tail rock kangaroo. The menu also includes different types of fish, frogs, and reptiles, as well as 30 species of plants.

Wildcats contribute to the extinction of species

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

Bleibersk said on Tuesday that our previous approach did not work. Australia is the world leader in the extinction of mammals. The need for action has never been greater.

Only in July did the minister report on the state of the environment of Australia (State of the Environment Report 2021) – with shocking numbers: since its colonization in 1788, 39 species of mammals have gone 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 either been listed as critically endangered or are now classified as critically endangered.

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The former conservative government is under criticism

By prioritizing 110 species and 20 sites, the plan will lead work where it is most needed, Blebercic said. Ultimately, other endangered plants and animals in the same habitat will benefit from this as well. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the minister’s bold and ambitious plan. The former conservative government was heavily criticized for its negative attitude towards environmental policy.

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

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