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The unique Australian animals your children won't EVER get to see in the wild as they go extinct


Four Australian forest animals are on the list of 20 birds and mammals most likely to become extinct in the next 20 years, as a result of the country’s logging laws. 

The Wilderness Society’s ‘Australia’s forest wildlife in crisis’ report, released in March, revealed which unique animals are facing a dire future in the coming years.

The report stressed the failure of the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) in balancing ecological sustainability with supplying resources to the industry. 

The Regent Honeyeater, known for its striking yellow and black feathers, is ranked number seven on the Threatened Species Recovery Hubs' 20 Australian bird species most at risk of extinction in 20 years

The Regent Honeyeater, known for its striking yellow and black feathers, is ranked number seven on the Threatened Species Recovery Hubs’ 20 Australian bird species most at risk of extinction in 20 years 

The Western Ringtail Possum, from Western Australia, has jumped from 'vulnerable' to 'endangered' to 'critically endangered' since the WA RFA was signed

The Western Ringtail Possum, from Western Australia, has jumped from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’ to ‘critically endangered’ since the WA RFA was signed

‘Under current Federal laws and intergovernmental agreements these species are being pushed relentlessly and knowingly beyond declining population and shrinking distribution towards extinction,’ the report said.  

The Regent Honeyeater, known for its striking yellow and black feathers, is ranked number seven on the Threatened Species Recovery Hubs’ 20 Australian bird species most at risk of extinction in 20 years and is listed critically endangered. 

The bird, found in NSW, is understood to be threatened by the degradation of its habitat, with woodlands increasingly being cleared for agriculture and development, the report says.  

The Western Ringtail Possum, from Western Australia, has jumped from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’ to ‘critically endangered’ since the WA RFA was signed.

The mammal, characterised with brown fur and a cream stomach, is ranked number 11 on the the 20 Australian mammal species. 

The report found logging was to blame for the decline in numbers as the possum was more frequently found in unlogged forest or areas where logging had been less intense.  

Number 13 on the list of bird species at risk is the Swift Parrot, which is found in NSW and Tasmania

Number 13 on the list of bird species at risk is the Swift Parrot, which is found in NSW and Tasmania

Forestry operations and land clearing have led to the loss of breeding over the past 30 years

Forestry operations and land clearing have led to the loss of breeding over the past 30 years

Number 13 on the list of bird species at risk is the Swift Parrot, which is found in NSW and Tasmania.   

Forestry operations and land clearing have led to the loss of breeding over the past 30 years.  

The Leadbeater’s Possum, which are so tiny they can fit into the palm of your hand, are ranked number seven on the mammal’s list.

Most people have never seen the nocturnal animal in the wild and in the past three decades their ecosystem has been pushed into further destruction.

They live in the Mountain Ash forests of the Central Highlands, Victoria, which continues to be harvested. 

The Leadbeater's Possum, which are so tiny they can fit into the palm of your hand, are ranked number seven on the mammal's list

The Leadbeater’s Possum, which are so tiny they can fit into the palm of your hand, are ranked number seven on the mammal’s list

Among the list of Australian species, the Barred Galaxias (Vic) and Giant Freshwater Crayfish (Tas) are listed as vulnerable and endangered while the Koala (NSW/Vic) Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (WA) are vulnerable.  

Ahead of the Federal Election on May 18, the Wilderness Society called on politicians to outline their policies in relation to animal extinction. 

Suzanne Milthorpe, Wilderness Society National Nature Campaign Manager, said it was clear Australia was in an extinction crisis.  

‘We’re number two in the world for species loss, and if we keep turning a blind eye to major threats to wildlife like deforestation, even iconic animals like the koala will go.’ 

Ms Milthorpe called for strong national environmental laws to stop the threats to the wildlife.  

‘With Australia losing three unique species in the last decade, and scientists expecting that number to skyrocket to 17 over the next 20 years, a key test for the next government will be turning around Australia’s grim extinction record,’ she said.

Among the list of Australian species, the Barred Galaxias (Vic) and Giant Freshwater Crayfish (Tas) are listed as vulnerable and endangered while the Koala (NSW/Vic) Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (WA) are vulnerable

Among the list of Australian species, the Barred Galaxias (Vic) and Giant Freshwater Crayfish (Tas) are listed as vulnerable and endangered while the Koala (NSW/Vic) Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (WA) are vulnerable

Suzanne Milthorpe, Wilderness Society National Nature Campaign Manager, said it was clear Australia was in an extinction crisis

Suzanne Milthorpe, Wilderness Society National Nature Campaign Manager, said it was clear Australia was in an extinction crisis

‘Laws will not be enough—we need a new approach to protecting our environment.’

‘Following six years of chaotic Coalition environment policy, Australia needs the leadership of a national Environment Commission to drive a national approach and ensure that Australia has world best-practice policy that supports our wildlife and natural places.’ 

Amid Australia’s extinction crisis, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) revealed the nature’s dangerous decline was ‘unprecedented’. 

The new report, released this week, warns the rate of species extinctions is accelerating and will have large implications for society. 

‘The overwhelming evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an ominous picture,’ said IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson. 

Amid Australia's extinction crisis, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) revealed the nature's dangerous decline was 'unprecedented' (pictured: Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo)

Amid Australia’s extinction crisis, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) revealed the nature’s dangerous decline was ‘unprecedented’ (pictured: Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo)

‘The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.’ 

Compiled by 145 expert authors from 50 countries over the past three years, the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services is the most comprehensive ever completed.  

The report found that about 1million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many of them within the coming decades.  

Since 1900, the average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20 per cent. 

The report determines the drivers are changes in land and sea use, the direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species.

The 20 Australian birds most at risk and mean likelihood of extinction within 20 years

  1. King Island brown thornbill – 94 per cent 
  2. Orange-bellied parrot – 87 per cent
  3. King island scrubtit – 83 per cent
  4. Western ground parrot – 75 per cent
  5. Houtman Abrolhos painted button-quail – 71 per cent
  6. Plains-wanderer – 64 per cent
  7. Regent honeyeater – 57 per cent
  8. Grey-range thick-billed grasswren – 53 per cent
  9. Herald petrel – 52 per cent
  10. Black-eared miner – 47 per cent
  11. Northern eastern bristlebird – 39 per cent
  12. Mallee emu-wren – 34 per cent
  13. Swift parrot – 31 per cent
  14. Norfolk Island boobook – 27 per cent
  15. Mount Lofty Ranges chestnut-rumped – 24 per cent
  16. Fleurieu Peninsula southern emu-wren – 17 per cent
  17. Helmeted honeyeater – 17 per cent
  18. Cocos buff-banded rail – 17 per cent
  19. Western bristlebird – 16 per cent
  20. Alligator Rivers yellow chat – 15 per cent     

The 20 Australian mammals most at risk and mean likelihood of extinction within 20 years

1. Central rock-rat – 65 per cent

2. Northern hopping-mouse – 48 per cent

3. Carpentarian rock-rat – 44 per cent

4. Christmas Island flying-fox – 41 per cent

5. Black-footed tree-rat – 39 per cent

6. Gilbert’s potoroo – 36 per cent

7. Leadbeater’s possum – 29 per cent

8. Nabarlek – 29 per cent

9. Brush-tailed phascogale – 28 per cent

10. Brush-tailed rabbit-rat – 25 per cent

11. Western ringtail possum – 25 per cent

12. Northern brush-tailed phascogale – 23 per cent

13. Mountain pygmy-possum – 22 per cent

14. Kangaroo Island dunnart – 22 per cent

15. Brush-tailed rabbit-raw – 21 per cent

16. Silver-headed antechinus – 20 per cent

17. Southern bent-winged bat – 18 per cent

18. Black-tailed antechinus – 17 per  cent

19. Northern bettong – 14 per cent

20. Tasman Peninsula dusky antechinus – 14 per cent 

 

SOURCE: Threatened Species Recovery Hub

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