The Australian Government is committing an extra $2 million to boost the recovery of threatened species in its national park estate.
Speaking at the World Parks Congress in Sydney, Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews said the funding meant 10 innovative projects targeting key species, habitat and threats across the Parks Australia network now had the go-ahead.
“Our international visitors here will tell you that when they think of Australia, they think of our amazing animals, plants and parks. But, as locals, we can sometimes take the sights and sounds of the bush and its wildlife for granted,” Mr Hunt said.
“With this funding, we’re issuing a wake-up call. If we want to preserve our native flora and fauna, then we need to do more work on the ground to tackle threats to their survival.”
“I don’t want my children to find the northern quoll, the partridge pigeon or the long nosed potoroo only in history books.”
“That’s why I declared war on feral cats. That’s why I committed to ending the loss of mammal species by 2020. That’s why I appointed Australia’s first Threatened Species Commissioner to champion this cause and made sure he was embedded in my department where he could most effectively influence and access resources for threatened species.”
Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews said he was delighted to have this funding for such important work.
“Australia’s national parks and reserves provide important habitat for our plants and animals and this funding boost will build on the good work occurring there to better address the threats that are putting many of our species at risk,” Mr Andrews said.
The 10 projects span almost the entire Commonwealth parks estate (Kakadu, Booderee, Christmas Island, Norfolk Island and Pulu Keeling national parks) and the Australian National Botanic Gardens
Species to benefit include the Norfolk Island green parrot, Cocos buff-banded rail, long-nosed potoroo, southern brown bandicoot, northern quoll, partridge pigeon, brush-tailed rabbit-rat, and the plants of the Arnhem Plateau sandstone shrubland complex.
The $2 million includes $750,000 announced recently to support four Kakadu projects as part of the Kakadu Threatened Species Strategy.
“We’re safeguarding existing populations through strategies such as the seed banking of plants and the captive management, training, reintroduction or translocation of birds and animals,” Mr Andrews said.
“At the same time, we’re tackling head-on the multiple threats to their survival in the wild. Fires that are too hot and too frequent, for example, leave threatened species more exposed to feral cats and weeds.”
“Each of the projects announced today addresses a different challenge and will need local input from communities, traditional owners, researchers and park staff. But the end game for all is the same – the recovery of at-risk species.”
For factsheets on the specific projects visit: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/commissioner/projects