Australia is one of earth’s six biodiversity hot spots, with many species found nowhere else on earth. But since Europeans arrived we also have the world’s worst record of species extinction. Support conservation organisations fighting to change that. And learn to live with less – we must leave some of the planet for other species.
Every year in Australia more than half a million hectares of bushland are bulldozed, chained or poisoned to clear land for agriculture (source: Wilderness Society). • Land clearing accounts for 15 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. • World wide, species are becoming extinct at 1000 times the normal rate. • Since Europeans arrived in Australia 22 species of mammals have become extinct and 92 per cent of the continent’s old-growth forest has been destroyed or modified. • In Australia, the Federal Government lists 3000 ecosystems and more than 1500 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants as threatened.
wildlife & conservation: key steps
- Support a conservation organisation.
- Plant a tree on National Tree Day.
- Join campaigns to end logging of our old-growth forests.
- Join a conservation project (Conservation Volunteers) or local bushcare group.
- Buy organic food. Organic farms support 50 per cent more wildlife than conventional farms.
- Join local campaigns to preserve native bushland.
- Volunteer for a local wildlife rescue scheme.
Introduced animals such as cats and foxes, and plants such as lantana, have flourished in Australia at the expense of native species. See Garden and Pets to make sure your pets and garden plants aren’t harming Australia’s flora and fauna.