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  • Sajda Jaward

Eco Friday>>> Australian wildlife at grave danger

Picture Credit: Ellicia

Australia's ecosystem is experiencing one of its most challenging times. The combined dangers of habitat loss, drought, bushfires, and other factors have led to an extinction crisis for Australia's species. Thousands of Australian species are currently in danger of going extinct, and the number keeps growing.

According to NBC, Australia has lost more mammal species than any other continent and has one of the highest rates of species decline among the world's richest nations. The Christmas Island flying fox and the central rock-rat are among the mammals thought to be most in danger of going extinct in the next 20 years, mostly because of introduced predator species. Some animals, such as the blue-tailed skink, are currently only known to live in captivity.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek stated in a statement, that the State of the Environment report is a distressing document which tells a story of catastrophe and decline in Australia's environment. According to her, the environment would be a top priority for the future labor administration, and the creation of new national parks and marine protected areas is a crucial prerequisite in order to protect 30% of Australia's land and ocean waters.

The number of species added to the list of threatened species increased by an average of 8% from the previous report in 2016 with 533 animal species and 1,385 plant species being listed as extinct wildlife.

A billion to three billion animals were killed or forced from their homes during the "Black Summer" bushfires, which also destroyed 9% of koala habitat. Plibersek also stated, that the southeastern Australia bushfires were an ecological bomb blowing through, and it will cost around $1.7 billion per year to recover the damage. The new administration has pledged to invest $250 million to save these endangered species.

Climate change and weather extremes pose a threat to several of the nation's most valuable ecosystems, including the Great Barrier Reef, which has been severely impacted by widespread coral bleaching. NBC reports the threat of ocean acidification, which is brought on by the absorption of carbon dioxide from the air, and it affects in declining of coral juveniles, which are crucial to reef recovery.

Politicians from the Green Party have called for environmental legislation to contain a climate trigger that would apply when new coal mines or gas projects are up for approval.

It should serve as a wake-up call to the government to increase carbon emission reductions to slow climate change, rewrite legislation to safeguard habitat, and to increase funding for species protection.

Picture Credit: AP News Website

August 26th 2022| 01:30 PM

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