The worsening plight of Australia’s endangered plants and animals is under the spotlight as ministers, business leaders, conservationists, and others gather in Melbourne for Thursday’s national Threatened Species Summit.
“The Threatened Species Summit is an opportunity to explore solutions and discuss practical ways to halt Australia’s wildlife crisis at a time when our threatened species are under more pressure than ever before,” said WWF-Australia Species Manager Darren Grover.
“Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has done a great job of raising awareness about the plight of threatened species but we now need a set of strong actions if we are to prevent further extinctions in Australia.”
Mr Grover said it was imperative that Minister Hunt provided the required funding for threatened species conservation work to take place, and that he directed that funding into the most effective projects.
“The need for targeted funding is made more critical by the fact that not one species has been removed from the Australian Government’s threatened species list as a result of recovery actions, while plenty of species have been added to the list,” he said.
“In other words, Australian wildlife is under more pressure now than ever before.”
The Threatened Species Summit comes at a time when Minister Hunt is delegating conservation powers to the states.
A recent report from a coalition of environment groups found that state and territory laws were inadequate to prevent species declines.
It found that no state or territory laws met the requirements of federal threatened species protections, and that no state or territory threatened species list included all federally listed threatened species.
“The findings of the report suggest that the delegation of powers to the states will impede efforts to save Australian species,” Mr Grover said.
“The minister has done a good job of raising the issue of Australia’s threatened species declines, especially around the problem of feral cats, but if he’s serious about species protection he should not hand over national wildlife protection powers to the states.”
WWF-Australia Media Contact:
Charlie Stevens, Senior Communications Officer