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End the cruel slaughter of kangaroos on public reserves: Petition

Letter to:
Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury
Chief Minister Andrew Barr
Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Simon Corbell
by Frankie Seymour Queanbeyan, NSW

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government has announced yet another slaughter of eastern grey kangaroos (EGKs) on its own nature reserves in the winter of 2015.

The government claims, without any coherent supporting evidence, that kangaroo grazing is a threat to the very ecosystems of which kangaroos have been an integral part for around five million years. The government continues to slaughter these creatures, despite having done no work to monitor or evaluate the impact or effectiveness of the killing program.

As well as being an ecological disaster, the slaughter causes immeasurable suffering to the animals. Adults that do not die instantly from the first shot are stabbed and clubbed to death, or escape to die slowly of their wounds. Even the survivors often injure themselves in their panic, or die on the roads trying to escape, or live to suffer the emotional distress and disruption to the mob’s social structure. Pouch young and young at foot are bludgeoned to death or left to starve.

In his response to this petition in 2014, Minister Shane Rattenbury implies that eastern grey kangaroos are a threat to species such as Grassland Earless Dragons, the Striped Legless Lizard, Perunga Grasshoppers, Coorooboorama Raspy Crickets and Ginninderra Peppercress. At the Administrative Reviews of 2013 and 2014, this claim was shown to be completely untrue. In fact, in an adjoining reserve just across the NSW border, where kangaroos are never culled, several of these species are recovering far more quickly than on the ACT reserves where massive kangaroos culling is conducted every year. The government’s own ecologist admitted that the government’s assertions about kangaroos being a threat to vulnerable species were just “PR”.

Rattenbury asserts that “critical conservation areas are under threat from overgrazing by kangaroo populations, which leads to a deterioration in the quality of the grasslands. This in turn puts pressure on the species that rely on this habitat”. In fact, the ACT government has consistently failed to produce any evidence that kangaroos (other than in captive situations) ever have overgrazed any area. The evidence shows that these animals manage their own populations without human intervention. Overgrazing in Australia is the sole preserve of introduced animals, such as sheep and cattle, which damage the fragile, shallow soils with their heavy bodies, low grazing and hard hooves.

Rattenbury asserts that “conditions in the ACT region are very favourable for Eastern Grey Kangaroos, contributing to an extremely high kangaroo population. Eastern Grey Kangaroos are the most numerous species of macropod in Australia, and their conservation status is not threatened.” Many ecology experts who have actually studied the population dynamics of eastern grey kangaroos consider their numbers to be in steep decline and deep trouble, both in the ACT region and throughout their range.

Rattenbury asserts that “the numbers to be culled have been based on scientific kangaroo counts in each location. This has been compared to the sustainable carrying capacity for each area that ACT Government ecologists have established by taking into account the habitat requirements of grassland dependent animals and plants.” Independent ecology experts have disputed:
(1) the government’s models for determining the sustainable kangaroos carrying capacity of reserves,
(2) their methods for counting them, and
(3) their models for estimating actual numbers. The government is well aware of this expert criticism of their calculations.

Rattenbury notes that “the ACT Government has since undertaken a peer review of how cull numbers are determined, which supported the ACT Government’s continuation of kangaroo management activities this year.” This so-called peer review has itself been peer-reviewed, most unfavourably, by a retired CSIRO plant scientist with vast experience in evaluating peer reviews.

Rattenbury asserts that “The conservation cull will be conducted according to a strict Code of Practice that has the endorsement of all relevant authorities including the RSPCA.” In fact, Rattenbury has rejected the Code of Practice prepared and recommended by his own Animal Welfare Advisory Committee in favour of the “national” code of practice which provides a lowest common denominator model intended as a baseline for states to their develop their own codes of practice.

In 2012, at least one of the culled kangaroos was found to have been shot, stabbed and bludgeoned before dying of suffocation and/or blood loss. In 2014, the government’s own expert witness admitted that, during each cull, an entire generation of young at foot are routinely left orphaned to starve or otherwise die without adult protection.

Sign the Petition:

Petition-Canberra

(Featured image: Canberra kangaroos)

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Victorian state emblem Leadbeater’s possum pushed closer to extinction

Victoria’s state animal emblem, the Leadbeater’s possum, is set to be formally recognised as being on the brink of extinction. But the state government has again stopped short of backing a new national park to protect the Leadbeater’s habitat, which conservationists and many scientists say is crucial to ensuring the species’ survival.

The species lives primarily in the ash forests and sub-alpine woodlands of Victoria’s central highlands, with a small lowland population to the east of Melbourne.

In face of this challenge, Environment Minister Lisa Neville will instigate more surveys, without actually promoting what’s actually needed - a new National Park! More paper-shuffling, procrastination, political spin and riding roughshod over the best advice, but no actual progress in protecting our State’s dying emblem from the threatening process – logging!

This Fairy Possum is so elusive it was thought to be extinct until it was re-discovered in 1961. It’s endemic to Victoria. We all know what needs to be done to save it… the extinction of the species is entirely preventable. Australian Paper’s ongoing use of wood pulp from VicForests, which fails to meet sawmill production quality standards, is sourced from known Leadbeater’s possum habitats. Populations of large, old trees necessary for the survival of Leadbeater’s Possum (and many other vertebrates) are crashing to historically low levels. Unburned and unlogged old-growth forest now covers just 1.16% of the mountain ash forest estate – probably the most limited extent in the evolutionary history of this tree species.

Leadbeater’s Possum is an arboreal marsupial with soft grey fur. It has a prominent dark brown stripe along its back and is pale underneath. Its ears are thin, large and rounded and it grows up to 17 cm in length. Its thick tail grows to 18 cm in length. A wildfire in 1939 created suitable habitat for the Leadbeater’s Possum’s current range and led to a peak in population numbers, estimated to be about 7500 individuals in the early 1980s. This population estimate is predicted to undergo a 90% reduction by 2025. Nobody would call this population dwindling “sustainable”.

According to official State government sources, the Victorian Government is committed to supporting the recovery of the State’s faunal emblem – the endangered Leadbeater’s Possum.

The Leadbeater’s Possum Advisory Group was established in 2013 to provide recommendations that support the recovery of the possum, while in an apparent oxymoron, is committed to maintaining a sustainable timber industrythe same “sustainable” timber industry that’s largely wiping out the species!

In a great twist of irony, a mixture of oxymorons, and loaded contradictory terms, the government is trying to “save” the Leadbeater’s Possum, whilst at the same time preserving the environmental and socio-economic values of our logging the old-growth forests – their home! Surely the species dependant on the forests are integral to their environment, and can’t be surgically dissected from logging profits! Wonder what the important “socio-economic” values of the logging industry are if it destroys our own State’s native emblem in the process?  More like bulldozer diplomacy.

New measures by our State government include VicForests commencing a program of remote camera surveys to look for Leadbeater’s Possum colonies in targeted areas planned for harvest, that will complement existing measures such as the protection of habitat and retention harvesting in forest outside of the reserve system. (Premier of Victoria media release: Protecting Victoria’s Iconic Leadbeater’s Possum Friday 17 April 2015)

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(image: George is a taxidermied male Leadbeater’s Possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) that Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum uses for it’s educational work concerning this threatened species. George was found dead but intact on the side of a logging road about 2011 in the Victorian Central Highlands. It is assumed that George’s home in the mountain ash (Eucalyptus Regnans) forests was a victim of logging, and as his home was being carted away he fell off the logging truck.)

They are going to great length to preserve their political integrity, and their reputation as being environmentally friendly, with a “proud history of protecting and enhancing the natural environment”… but fall short of actually ending the timber harvests in the Central Highlands of Victoria the Leadbeater Possums rely on!  You can’t keep your cake and eat it too.

The proposed Great Forest National Park park would add 355,000 hectares of protected forests to the existing 170,000 hectares of parks and protected areas in the Central Highlands of Victoria by amalgamating a group of smaller parks. The park would stretch from Healesville to Kinglake in the west, through to Baw-Baw plateau in the east and north to Eildon. A new national park is needed not only to conserve possums and forests, but to protect carbon stocks, water supplies and lower the risk of bushfires. Surely such a new forest National park would be a win-win for Victoria, on numerous levels, and embrace much more socio-economic values that VicForests’ destructive logging “harvests”.

Numerous conservationists and scientists – including Sir David Attenborough and Dr Jane Goodall – have supported a campaign to set up the “Great Forest National Park” in the region, which would encompass much of the highlands forest.  The value of the forests for their natural qualities can’t be seen for the dollars worth of the trees!

The Australian Greens say that the Future of our forests treated as little more than garbage. The time has come to acknowledge that Regional Forest Agreements have failed to protect our carbon stores, our water catchments, our local jobs and communities, and so many of our unique plants and animals,” said the Greens forests spokesperson Senator Janet Rice. “We’ve seen the impact Regional Forest Agreements have had on the decline of the Swift Parrot in Tasmania and the Leadbeater’s Possum in Victoria – they are both hurtling towards extinction”.

Letterboxing for the Great Forest National Park- The Wilderness Society.

 

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Acidic oceans blamed for Earth’s worst mass extinction

This is not the extinction crisis that wiped out the dinosaurs.

Scientists recently claim that huge amounts of carbon dioxide spewed from colossal volcanic eruptions in Siberia may have turned the world’s oceans dangerously acidic 252 million years ago, helping to drive a global environmental calamity that killed most land and sea creatures.

Massive eruptions that formed an immense region of volcanic rock called the Siberian Traps represented one of the largest volcanic events of the past half billion years, lasting a million years and spanning the boundary between the Permian and subsequent Triassic Period.

The study, reported in the journal Science, provides the strongest evidence yet to support the theory that ocean acidification caused the ‘Great Dying’.

This was the biggest mass extinction of all time, responsible for the loss of 90 per cent of all life in the oceans, and 70 per cent on land,” says the study’s lead author Dr Matthew Clarkson who was with the University of Edinburgh at the time of the research and is now at the University of Otago in New Zealand. The team analysed rocks unearthed in the United Arab Emirates – which were on the ocean floor at the time – to develop a climate model to work out what drove the extinction. The rocks preserve a detailed record of changing oceanic conditions at the time.

Having absorbed the first pulse of CO2, when the second pulse took place the oceans were less alkaline and had a lower buffering capacity. This pulse triggered widespread ocean acidification eliminating the vast majority of life.

This volcanic activity wiped out more than 90 percent of marine species, and more than two-thirds of the animals living on land.

Implications for today’s climate change

The findings, published in the journal Science, are helping scientists better understand the threat that modern marine life face today in the midst of climate change, which is driving harmful ocean acidification.

22 million tonnes of carbon dioxide are released by human industrial activity each day, and a quarter of it is absorbed into the ocean. The annual carbon dioxide emissions are thought to be around six billion metric tonnes.

The increasing amount of carbon dioxide emissions on Earth have not only resulted in a global temperature rise, but have also caused a change in the pH of the oceans, which are becoming more acidic. Chemical changes in the oceans is happening so quickly that many species are unable to adapt and evolve, putting them at risk of extinction.

Forams – or foraminifera – are much like an amoeba with a shell,” explains Dr Sven Uthicke, lead author of the study which was published last week in the prestigious scientific journal Scientific Reports, an online journal of Nature. Although some forams were able to survive during these past events, the current rate of CO2 increase is much faster than anything seen before. “Of most concern, not one single species of foram was found in samples drawn from locations where conditions had already reached acidification levels predicted for our oceans by 2100 in all but the most optimistic emissions scenario.”

Alex Rogers, professor of biology at Oxford University, said: “The health of the ocean is spiralling downwards far more rapidly than we had thought. We are seeing greater change, happening faster, and the effects are more imminent than previously anticipated. The situation should be of the gravest concern to everyone since everyone will be affected by changes in the ability of the ocean to support life on Earth.”

Overfishing and pollution are part of the problem, scientists say, warning that mass extinction of species may be inevitable.

There are factory farms in the sea, and cattle-ranch style feed lots for tuna. Shrimp farms are eating up mangroves with the same appetite with which terrestrial farming consumed native prairies and forest,” says Steve Palumbi with Stanford University. The oceans have not yet suffered the same human impacts as terrestrial ecosystems, but they could soon without better care and management.

Human population growth
It took humans around 200,000 years to reach a global population of one billion. But, in two hundred years we’re more than seven-times that number. We are already beyond the point of the biological concept of ‘carrying capacity.’ Millions of people go hungry every day, and an unfathomable number don’t even have access to clean drinking water. A world of 11 billion people would be regrettable to humans as well as to other species.

Habitat destruction, deforestation, exploitation of species, climate change, and ocean acidification—they are also underpinned by one simple fact: the human population continues to boom.

Tens of thousands of individual animals from hundreds of marine species—including every kind of sea turtle and around half of marine mammals—have encountered plastic, glass, and other garbage in the ocean, according to a new study. Coauthors Sarah Gall and Richard Thompson, marine biologists at Plymouth University in the United Kingdom, looked in 340 different publications for reports about animal encounters with marine trash. They found that 693 species of marine animals had some sort of interaction with human-made debris, with 17 percent of them listed with some degree of vulnerability to extinction on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.

71 percent of the world is made up from our oceans. The ocean is a huge part of peoples everyday lives, and holds so many mysteries that people are discovering daily. People should do there part and keep the ocean clean from solid waste!

oceanpollution

National Geographic: 10 things you can do to help save our oceans.

Mankind has probably done more damage to the Earth in the 20th century than in all of previous human history.
Jacques Yves Cousteau

Stop the Trawler Alliance

(featured image: an extinct crinoid — on display in the Sant Hall of Oceans in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Crinoids are animals like sea lillies. They usually have a stalk, on top of which is a broad disk, from which arms extend. They sweep the sea for food particles. This particular crinoid lived in the early Mississippian era, about 359 to 318 million years ago. This fossil was found in the Borden Formation in Kentucky)

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LONELY AT THE TOP: Meddling in Ecosystems

By Natalie Kyriacou
About the author:
Natalie Kyriacou is the Director of My Green World, an organisation dedicated to the conservation and protection of wildlife and habitats. She has worked on various animal welfare and conservation projects, including an orangutan rehabilitation program in Borneo, an elephant rescue program in Sri Lanka, and a dog sterilisation clinic in Sri Lanka and Australia.
Natalie holds a degree in Journalism and a Masters in International Relations at the University of Melbourne. She is a current appointed member of the Animal Ethics Committee for the Department of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Melbourne.


ORIGINS OF THE DINGO

With somewhat murky ancestral origins and a much maligned reputation in Australia, the dingo has long been considered a polarizing predator; both a cultural icon and livestock pest.

Perhaps no other predator is more deeply embedded in the Australian psyche than the dingo. Its history in Australia has grabbed headlines for more than a century, from the stolen baby in the infamous Azaria Chamberlain case to being the cause for the construction of the legendary Dingo Fence in 1885 to protect grazing lands, the dingo has entrenched itself deeply into the rich fabric of Australian culture.

Bearing a striking resemblance to the domestic dog, the dingo is currently listed as a subspecies of the grey wolf, though its exact ancestry is highly enigmatic and much debated. More recent research suggests that the dingo came to Australia via Southern China, anywhere between 4600 and 18,300 years ago.

Despite its flawed reputation, Australia’s largest terrestrial predator is also a vital component of healthy ecosystems in Australia and an important contributor to environmental recovery and the protection of threatened native species.

HAUNTING CONSERVATIONISTS
Considered one of the most vexing issues facing conservationists and agriculturalists alike, the dingo has haunted the Australian landscape for over 200 years.

The culling of dingoes is commonplace in Australia, and their numbers have fluctuated widely as a result. Government-run programs consenting the dingo cull are active across the country, with methods including poisoning, shooting and using sodium fluoroacetate.

The deadly drama of predators and their prey is often described as a prime example of natural selection in action, however, often overlooked is the role that humans play in these relationships, and how their meddlesome actions within precious ecosystems can have devastating consequences.

THE APEX PREDATOR
Most recently, the dingo has experienced catastrophic decline as a result of human persecution. Such a collapse of top predator populations is associated with dramatic upsurges of smaller predators. Known as the mesopredator theory, this trophic interaction has been witnessed heavily in Australia. Disruption to the number of dingoes has a cascading effect throughout entire ecosystems, initiating a surge of unchecked predation by lower species and an unravelling of bionetworks.

When dingo populations dwindle, foxes, feral cats, and kangaroos grow bolder. Foxes and cats eat large quantities of small mammals, while kangaroos destroy vegetation which smaller marsupials live in, leading to an equally controversial kangaroo cull.

Thus, the crucial role of the apex predator is undermined frequently. The story of the dingo is not unique. The apex predator has been continually persecuted throughout the world, and the results are almost always the same.

ECOLOGICAL IMPACT
The impact that unregulated mesopredators have on ecosystems is something which has only recently been recognised. In 2006, scientists from James Cook University and Australian National University published a report in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, tracking the geographical relationship between dingoes, threatened species, and now-extinct species.
Their research suggests that dingoes actually aid the survival of smaller, more vulnerable species in Australia, and their presence is actually associated with the persistence of native Australian animals. By suppressing populations of introduced predators and larger herbivores, the dingo actually reduced the threat to native species. The study found that in areas where dingoes had been removed, most of the native mammal extinctions had occurred.

WAR ON DINGOES
This complex ecological dynamic has been largely overlooked in Australia, and the war on dingoes has continued to rage, compromising their genetic strain, causing many dingo subspecies to fall extinct, and dooming much of Australia’s biodiversity.

If the dingo was entirely eliminated from Australia, then prey species would doubtlessly suffer. The dingo is not only a keystone species protecting mammal biodiversity in Australia, but it is the most significant constraint on the harmful potential of exotic predators. The notion that we must so thoroughly regulate and intervene in the wild is highly alarming, and the devastating impact it has on natural ecosystems is already being felt around the world.

Natalie Kyriacou
http://www.mygreenworld.org/war-on-dingoes/

Featured image: “Dingo Perth Zoo SMC Sept 2005″. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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Major plan launched to avert species extinction

The country’s flora and fauna draws millions of tourists from around the world. But scientists say Australia’s native species are under threat of extinction.

20 per cent of mammals and many more plant species are under threat. And scientists fear much of the country’s unique flora and fauna may not be around for future generations. Habitat loss, hunting and changes in fire regimes have contributed to the decline, with invasive species considered a primary ongoing threat.

A major bush conservation plan has been launched to help save native animals and plants under threat of extinction.

For example, Queensland School of Agriculture and Food Sciences Ecology Lecturer and PhD candidate Rebecca Diete said population estimates of some of Australia’s most elusive native animals often relied on indirect and potentially inaccurate measures. A tiny mammal, the endangered hopping mouse, could be closer to the brink of extinction than previously thought. Diete found that population estimates have relied on counting spoil heaps – the piles of sand left behind when the mouse digs burrows. However, she discovered that some spoil heaps believed to belong to the northern hopping mouse were made by a different animal – the delicate mouse (Pseudomys delicatulus). “Estimates of hopping mouse numbers made only from spoil heap assessments could be much higher than the reality,” she said.

Bush Heritage Science Plan

Since 1991, Bush Heritage Australia has applied a proven, practical approach to conserving Australia’s environment and unique plants and animals. One in five of Australia’s surviving mammals and 12% of Australia’s birds are now threatened with extinction. There remains an estimated shortfall of 70 million hectares of habitat across Australia (WWF, 2013) to secure a comprehensive, adequate and representative national reserve system.

Download from Bush Heritage Australia website.

This alone will not be enough. BHA believe we also require more effective management in need of protection of the extensive and pervasive threats impacting the viability of native animals, plants and ecosystems.

This ten-year Science Plan aims to build sustainable research partnerships in each state and territory and double the number of collaborative research projects we undertake by 2025. Their research will be focused on six flagship research themes, each pivotal to our work, and which address key biodiversity conservation issues in Australia.

African lovegrass is a weed which dominates the heavily cultivated soils of Scottsdale Reserve, a former grazing property 75 kilometres south of Canberra. Few trees have survived decades of farming. Instead it’s the introduced thistles with their dried, discoloured flowers which stand tall.

In some countries African lovegrass is regarded as valuable for animal production and soil conservation but in others, such as Australia, it is regarded as a weed due to its low feed quality and acceptance by livestock.

Bush Heritage Australia started rehabilitating the land after purchasing the 1328-hectare property in 2006. Scottsdale Reserve was the launch site (8th April, 2015) for an ambitious project to study the reasons behind Australia’s massive rate of biodiversity loss. Australian National University ecologist Dr David Freudenberger is among 50 scientists collaborating on the project. “Scottsdale Reserve is a living classroom for my students, at understanding the challenges of restoring the grassy woodland,” he said.

The existing long-term research project on Scottsdale Reserve involves restoring grassy eucalypt woodlands. They engaged 500 volunteers, who hand-planted native shrubs and trees in one of the largest woodland restoration efforts in the nation.

scottsdale-planting(image:Scottsdale Reserve planting)

Dr Jim Radford, science and research manager at Bush Heritage Australia said native mammals, such as bilbies, bettongs, bandicoots and gliders, are in an “absolutely dire” situation. One key priority is adding up to 70 million extra hectares to Australia’s national parks and reserve system.

Rufus_bettong(image: Rufus Bettong)

Research Themes

Research theme 1: Landscape connectivity

Research theme 2: Threatened species

Research theme 3: Habitat refugia

Research theme 4: Fire ecology

Research theme 5: Restoration evaluation

Research theme 6: Introduced species/feral animals

The Bush Heritage Science Plan aims to double their science and research output by 2025 through building sustainable long-term research partnerships and doubling the number of collaborative research projects they undertake. Funding will be through scholarships, grants and internships. As part of the plan, 50 scientists from 15 universities across the country will collaborate on 55 conservation projects, and they hope to raise $20 million to fund it.

$20 million in Treasury terms is very small, and is minute compared to infrastructure spending on our own habitats, and what’s spent to propagate our own species! Donating and participating in this Science Plan is an investment into our natural heritage, and ensure that future generations are condemned to only seeing once common native species in museums, or in zoos!

Donate to Bush Heritage Australia:

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Vale Martin Copley AM, 1940-2014

On 30 July 2014, Australia lost one of its great conservationists and philanthropists when Martin Copley AM passed away.MartinCopley

Martin was born in Britain and he became a successful insurance underwriter. He first visited Australia in 1966. In 1991 he purchased a property containing a large area of natural bushland at Chidlow, Western Australia, now the Karakamia Sanctuary, for conservation purposes, effectively founding what was to become the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC). In 1994 he moved to Australia permanently. Martin is survived by his partner Valentine, three children and six grandchildren.

“Our wild world is disappearing in numerous ways: loss of species, habitat destruction, declining water and air quality, and increasingly saline and shallow topsoils“, he said.  The Gouldian finch,  once widespread across northern Australia – could be the symbol of a continent in danger. Most Australians will never get to see the Gouldian finch, except perhaps in a cage. It’s estimated there are only hundreds remaining in the wild.

Martin will be remembered as one of Australia’s greatest conservationists and philanthropists. It is impossible to adequately describe the extent of Martin’s immense contribution to conservation.

Even in the early 1990s,Martin had a vision of a new, non-profit model for conservation– a model that could help lead the way in reversing Australia’s extinction crisis. Martin established Karakamia – AWC’s first sanctuary – in the Perth Hills. Even then, Martin had a vision of a new, non-profit model for conservation– a model that could help lead the way in reversing Australia’s extinction crisis.

Among his many extraordinary achievements, perhaps Martin’s greatest legacy – his greatest gift to the Woylies, Gouldian Finches and Bilbies – is his success over the last two decades in realising that vision.

Copley was thrilled to observe small creatures with alien names such as woylie, numbat and quokka slowly reappearing on the landscape. So much of Australia is tragically lacking these oddly named creatures, he says. “I always feel these places are alive, yet when you go into a national park, it often seems dead – a few birds and kangaroos but not the diversity.”

AWC has grown to 23 properties covering 3 million hectares across Australia. These properties protect 83% of Australia’s terrestrial bird species and 67% of its terrestrial mammal species including some of the largest remaining populations of threatened species such as the Bilby, Sharman’s Rock-wallaby and the Purple-crowned Fairy-wren.

Mr Copley’s environmental legacy is the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, which now watches over more than three million hectares of land. Mr Copley, 74, showed by example that eliminating feral cats and foxes allowed animals such as woylies and bandicoots to play their role in managing the landscape. Martin’s fencing-off of huge areas of bush has shown how healthy Australian ecosystems can function. The native animals become the cultivators and tillers of soil, dramatically reducing leaf litter build-up, which helps change the fire regime and ecological structure of an area.

Martin Copley has done more than anyone to safeguard Australia’s biodiversity and endangered species.  According to Tim Flannery, Copley is “an absolute standout” who has made “an extraordinary contribution” in his field.

April 2015: Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) is pleased to report that the wild Bilby population at Scotia is now estimated to be more than 1,200 animals. Together with a second population at Yookamurra, AWC protects approximately 15% of the entire Bilby population (estimated at less than 10,000 animals across Australia). Sadly, the Bilby population across the rest of Australia is in a state of ongoing decline, primarily as a result of feral cats and foxes. The last wild Bilby population in Queensland is now estimated at only 200 animals after a catastrophic decline driven by feral cats.

The Easter Bilby is an Australian symbol of Easter, to replace the Easter Bunny. Very young children are indoctrinated with the concept that bunnies are nice soft fluffy creatures whereas in reality they are Australia’s greatest environmental feral pest and cause enormous damage to the arid zone.

Australian Wildlife Conservacy
Subiaco East WA 6008
Ph: +61 8 9380 9633
www.australianwildlife.org

Save the Bilby Fund
Email: admin@savethebilbyfund.org

PO Box 260, Runaway Bay, Qld, 4216

Phone: 0405 384 351
Fax: (07) 5563 8612

http://www.savethebilbyfund.com/

The Australian Bilby Appreciation Society

http://members.optusnet.com.au/bilbies/About_Bilbies.htm

(featured image: Bilby is from their website)