WWF today welcomed the Baird Government’s announcement of individual recovery plans for every one of New South Wales’ 970 threatened species of animals and plants.
The recovery package will be backed by $100 million in funding over five years.
Efforts to save species will include vegetation restoration, fencing and other interventions to protect species from feral pests; and programs working with local landowners to improve water and soil quality.
“This is a major commitment to the conservation of Australian threatened species,” said WWF CEO Dermot O’Gorman.
“It is encouraging to see the government adopting a systematic, goal-directed approach.
“The announcement builds on the government’s work on 70 threatened species over the past four years.
“We urge the Government to finalise recovery plans and move to on-the-ground, practical action as quickly possible.
“The most threatened species must be given first priority and action should also focus on areas where a number of species will benefit from the same management actions,” he said.
WWF-Australia acknowledged the Baird Government’s strong record in the creation, expansion and good management of terrestrial parks and reserves over the first four years of its term.
“We call for the continued strategic growth of NSW National Parks and reserves, in particular to secure habitat of animals and plants to enable them to adapt to climate change.
“Protection of habitat should be the first step of any threatened species recovery program,” Mr O’Gorman said.
“WWF has estimated that more than half of NSW threatened species lack adequate habitat protection, and 16 have no protection at all,” he said.
WWF-Australia also called for the Government to maintain the existing level of protection over native vegetation in NSW.
“While every species is important, it is particularly pleasing that the brush-tailed rock-wallaby, one of WWF supporters’ favourite animals, is included in the ‘iconic’ species theme,” Mr O’Gorman said.
WWF-Australia Media Contact:
Mark Symons, Senior Media Officer, 0400 985 571