The organization has updated its Red List of Threatened Species with 124 Australian species.
Of these, 54 have been classified as Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable.
Additions included the gray-headed flying fox, classified as vulnerable, the critically endangered Arcadia velvet gecko, and several Kangaroo Island insect species, such as the murderous spider; also critically endangered.
In total, the Red List indicates that more than 40,000 species are threatened with extinction, or only 28% of all species assessed.
Australian National University conservation biologist Michael Braby told 9news.com.au that the decline of the bogong moth could spell disaster for other Australian species.
“They are key species, that is, they play a vital role in the alpine community,” said associate professor Braby, explaining that the butterflies used to breed in the lowlands before heading to the mountains. Alps.
âThey use these summits for their summer vacation, to escape the heat.
âYou are removing this species from the system it has an effect on. It is an important food source for the mountain pygmy opossum and several species of birds, for example. “
Drought was one of the factors that led to a sharp collapse in bogong butterfly populations in 2017, Associate Professor Braby said.
“The use of insecticides in agricultural areas could have an effect, but we are not entirely sure,” he added.
âWe have to investigate.
“But climate change, drought and habitat loss have been critical factors.”
Why insects are vital for ecosystems
Associate Professor Braby said many people don’t realize the importance of insects in the ecosystem.
He explained that they play a vital role in pollinating Australian plants, feeding our native animals, and recycling nutrients in the soil.
âThey provide the building blocks of our other animals – our birds, insects, bats, and so on.
âThey play an extremely important role in nutrition.
“But they also promote healthy soil. In the larval stage, the young often feed on plant foliage or rotten logs, and in doing so, they return nutrients to the soil.
“They have a big role to play in breaking it down. If you lose any bugs, the ripple effects on Australian plants are horrendous.”
Firefighters battle out of control bushfires in WA
“We currently don’t have a good idea of ââthe extent and magnitude of the decline in Australia,” he explained.
“In some areas of the country declines are being observed, but studies are patchy and different factors are involved, such as fires affecting species on Kangaroo Island.”
Associate Professor Braby said scientists fear for the Banksia Montane mealybug in Stirling Range National Park.
Experts believe they have gone completely extinct due to repeated fires.