September 7 is National Threatened Species Day in Australia…
Today also commemorates the death of the last known Tasmanian Tiger and is a time to consider and celebrate the importance of biodiversity.
Biodiversity is vital for the well-being of our planet and a healthy planet allows humans to live and thrive. Australia is highly biodiverse. Most of Australia’s wildlife is found nowhere else in the world:
However, Australia leads the world with the worst mammal extinction rate:
- According to the IUCN Red List of endangered species, Australia has 86 species that are considered critically endangered.
- 27 native animals have been confirmed as extinct since European settlement
- In the next 20 years, approximately 17 more species will disappear.
Some of these species include the northern hairy-nosed wombat, the regent honeyeater and the white-bellied frog. All of these species are vital to ensuring a healthy and balanced ecosystem. At the heart of these issues are weak and outdated nature laws which allow for the destruction of the natural world with limited accountability or liability for this degradation.
Lyndon Schneider, The National Director of Wilderness Society, delivered a thought provoking speech, expressing his concern for the Government’s 25% budget cut from the Biodiversity and Conservation Division. He implored an ‘immediate funding injection’ and stronger support from the public sector so that we can ‘[meet] our national and international obligations to monitor and protect our native species.’
Today, the ‘Places You Love Alliance’ (of which the Jane Goodall Institute is a member) held a ‘Stand Against Extinction’ demonstration on the lawns of Parliament House to demand stronger nature laws and better protection of Australian wildlife and ecosystems. The organisation and its supporters are taking a stand on extinction, calling for our government to take leadership and save our endangered species before it is too late. Check out their website and join the movement for a new generation of national environment laws.