With a new action plan, the Australian Labor government wants to protect its unique animal and plant world from dangers and stop 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.
Cats inside cause problems
The goal is to improve protection of species threatened by climate change and the loss of their natural habitats, and to revive populations threatened with extinction. 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.
“Our previous approach did not work,” Pleibersk said on Tuesday. “Australia is the world leader in the extinction of mammals.” The need for action has never been greater.
39 species have become extinct since colonization
Only in July did the minister report on the State of Australia’s Environment (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 any other continent.
Since the previous report was published in 2016, 17 species of mammals, 17 species of birds and 19 species of frogs have either been listed as critically endangered or are now classified as “critically endangered”.
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