Threatened Species Day
Today is National Threatened Species Day which marks the date the last known Tasmanian Tiger died at Hobart Zoo on 7 September 1936. This stunning creature was driven to extinction by hunting, habitat destruction and disease as Europeans colonised Australia.
Since then, Australia has lost vast amounts of plants and wildlife to land clearing, logging, and mining and in 2016, we quietly lost our first mammal species to climate change – the Bramble Cay Melomys, a small native rodent.
Extinction is not something we want to be world leaders in. If our governments don’t act now, what we stand to lose is unimaginable.
The Tassie Tiger and the Bramble Cay Melomys may be gone forever but there are hundreds of other precious animals we can still save from extinction, like the beautiful Black-throated Finch, the Leadbeater’s Possum and our beloved Koala.
We can still turn this around and become world leaders in conservation, not extinction.
At EJA we have long been advocating for reform of our national environment laws which are currently too weak to protect our threatened wildlife.
Many threatened species, including some listed as critically endangered, lack recovery plans. And governments continue to approve mining, logging, and development projects despite the known impact it will have on threatened species habitat.
Both state and federal governments need to lift their game on threatened species protection. We have spent a lot of time in Court over the last few years, representing clients taking on the government and government agencies for not protecting threatened species like the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum and the vulnerable Greater Glider by allowing logging in vital habitat.
In 2018, a Senate Inquiry was held into the global extinction crisis, and several recommendations were made including the need for an independent national environmental protection authority that makes decisions that are not in any way influenced by politics or industry lobbying and stronger environmental protection to slow the decline of our threatened species.
Together, we need to speak out and call on the federal government to adopt these reforms.