Australia Leads in Extinction Rates Worldwide

The Federal Government has been urged to take action.

A report published in March by The Australian Conservation Foundation has revealed that Australia has lost more animals to extinction than any other country in the world. According to the research, since colonisation, 29 species have become extinct in Australia, compared to just one in the United States.

"For all its natural beauty, the sad reality is that Australia leads the world on extinction," the report said.

Since 2009, Australia has seen the loss of three vertebrates - a marsupial, a skink and a bat, which according to the foundation is due to the Federal Government’s inability to protect Australia’s most critical habitats.

Currently, there are more than 1,700 threatened species and ecological communities in Australia, the government has only identified and supported five critical habitats when in order to preserve and protect our native wildlife far more should be listed.

In fact, no critical habitat has been listed since 2005, Jess Abrahams an ACF healthy ecosystems campaigner explained last week in a statement:

“Our current law provides patently inadequate protection to prevent the destruction of critical habitats.”

"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,” she said.

The report outlines that if Australia fails to protect more of its critical habitats, the country will fail to meet international obligations to conserve and protect wildlife and prevent extinctions.

The report also outlined ways Australia can respond to our threatened native wildlife. Their recommendations included a new national critical habitats register, establishment of an independent environmental agency and new national environmental protection laws. They’ve also asked the government to commit $200 million annually to a threatened species fund, to help recover dying species.

Lead Image: The Leadbeater's Possum, Healesville Sanctuary

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