Together, we can turn the tide on Australia’s extinction crisis

Let’s End Australia’s Extinction Crisis

Breaking news

BREAKING NEWS: The EPBC ACT review into Australia's nature laws has found that they are ineffective and failing to protect our most threatened wildlife and their homes; yet, the Federal Government is rejecting the report's recommendation to strengthen its environmental laws through the creation of an independent compliance agency.

The future of Australia’s native wildlife is on the brink, and recent bushfires of summer 2019 have only made it much worse. We estimate 1.25 billion animals have been killed by the blazes. This might just be the last straw for some of our most threatened wildlife already at risk of being lost forever.

Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate of any country in the world. In the last decade, three of Australia’s native species have gone extinct and hundreds more are on the verge of extinction, including the iconic koala. Since 2018, we’ve reported that koalas were on track to becoming extinct in NSW by 2050 if nothing was done.

But, we have a rare opportunity to change the course of history. Right now, the Australian Government is running a once-in-10-year review of Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation laws (EPBC Act 1999). Our government has an opportunity to take a stand for nature and humanity, and demonstrate leadership to fix what is broken.

We are expecting the interim report to be released any day now.

Here’s just one reason why it’s so important. The EPBC Act is supposed to protect the homes and habitats of our most threatened species, but in the 20 years since the laws were passed more than 7.7 million hectares of threatened species habitat has been destroyed – that’s an area bigger than the whole of Tasmania.

Our environmental laws are failing to protect our wildlife and the places we love.

It’s clear the government needs to do more – much more - to protect our wildlife and the places we love before we lose more of our precious animals forever. Urgent change is needed before it’s too late.

Together, we can stop Australia’s extinction crisis.

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Black-flanked rock-wallaby in the central Wheatbelt, Western Australia
Black-flanked rock-wallaby in the central Wheatbelt, Western Australia © Craig Pentland

Australia’s unique wildlife

Australia is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife that is found nowhere else on the planet. Over 30 million years of geographical isolation has created fascinating animals that are unique to our vast continent.

But now, more than 1,700 species of plant, animal and ecological communities are officially listed as threatened. This includes 517 species of wildlife.

Our iconic animals like the koala, black-flanked rock-wallaby and hairy-nosed wombat are currently under threat. And it’s not just our mammals and unique marsupials at risk.

Countless rare birds, like the regent honeyeater and swift parrot, are also on the brink. As are some of our most fascinating reptiles and frogs, like the beautiful green and golden bell frog, and all could soon be gone forever if we don’t act now.

Echidna in grass
Echidna in grass © Chris Farrell Nature Photography / WWF-Aus

Impact of bushfires on threatened species

From ancient rainforests, towering coastal forests, to the Australian alps and beyond, our wild places are home to our most threatened wildlife.

But tragically, over 300 threatened species have been affected by the worst bushfire season in living memory, with their habitats in the fire zones severely impacted.

We now know that as many as 10,000 koalas may have perished in the NSW fires. And more than half the population of the long-footed potoroo, rufous scrub-bird and southern barred frog have been put at risk from this one bushfire season.

On Kangaroo Island alone, up to 80% of the Island’s glossy black cockatoo, echidna and dunnart populations have felt the force of the fires. Even before the bushfires, the dunnart was already at risk of disappearing in the next decade.

Now more than ever, our threatened wildlife urgently needs our help to survive.