[Created on 10/11/2005]
Broadscale clearing of mature bushland remains the number one threat to the survival of animal and plant species in Australia.
The WWF campaign team focuses its efforts on Queensland and has recently developed asks on the Western Australian government to control wholesale land clearing around Perth - the most sprawling city in the world! We have also contributed to a government policy to end broadscale clearing of ecologically important native vegetation in NSW.
WWF-Australia offers practical, science-based solutions to the landscape management issues facing our nation today. Our key aim is ensuring a reduction in broadscale clearing in every state, and that Australians find new ways to work with healthy landscapes for a healthy future.
Effects of land clearing
- Loss and fragmentation of species habitat
For example, upwards of 90% of some native vegetation communities in the Southwest Australia Ecoregion has been cleared, largely for agriculture. This area, supporting the highest concentration of rare and endangered species on the continent, is home to Gilbert's potoroo, now listed as critically endangered.
Dryland salinity occurs where too much water enters the groundwater table, which causes underground salt to rise to the surface.
In the Murray-Darling Basin alone - an area that supports 40% of Australian farms and contains around 75% of our irrigated land - close to 5.7 million hectares are at risk or affected by salinity.
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Financial pressure
- Conversion of native forests to plantations
Single species plantations lack a natural diversity of the ecosystems they replaced; and frequently have a vastly altered value as habitat or food sources for native wildlife.
Tax incentives and subsidies (through the Regional Forestry Agreements established by the State and Federal Governments) that support the conversion of native forests to plantations are now driving native forest replacement, especially in Tasmania and NSW.