A list of 100 endangered species of native wildlife, including koalas and quokkas, will be prioritized for protection as part of a 10-year federal government strategy that experts say needs more funding and endanger approximately 1,700 plants and animals that have not made the cut. .
An astonishing array of wildlife has followed the path of the dodo bird over the past 230 years, from crescent-tailed wallaby to paradise parrot and Maiden bush pea. Australia alone has lost 39 species of mammals since colonization, which is about 38% of the global total.
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said in a statement on Friday that the 100 priority species will be the subject of new conservation efforts under the Endangered Species Strategy.
The list includes the quokka, green turtle, Australian sea lion, great bilby, koala, and orange-bellied parrot. But it excludes other endangered species such as large gliders, southern brown bandicoots, red hare-wallaby, Tasmanian devil, Murray cod, and shiny black cockatoos.
Ms Ley said conservation efforts would start with $ 10 million in grants that were now open to community groups to undertake weed and pest management, wild predator control, restoration and environmental protection. and citizen science programs, supported by complementary investments already underway.
“I stress the importance of local communities to be part of a strategy supported by our investments in the national soil protection program of more than one billion dollars, our commitment of 149 million dollars in the national program environmental sciences. [and] our funding of $ 200 million for bushfire recovery, ”said Ms. Ley.
Deakin University professor of ecology and wildlife conservation Euan Ritchie said Australia’s total amount of conservation spending was “shameful” and argued that the strategy would be pointless unless growth or decline in populations of target species is measured and published.
“It sounds like a big number, but compared to what we’re willing to spend on submarines that may not be built, it’s tiny,” said Professor Ritchie. “The previous strategies were found to be effective even though the target species were only declining at a slower rate than before. We need to see measurable increases.