Tag Archives: population growth

Koala extinction? Protection is being watered down!

According to the Australian Koala Foundation, there is currently no legislation, anywhere in the country, that can protect Koalas and Koala habitat in Australia. The listing of the koala as “vulnerable” under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in 2012 changed nothing. This is supposed to be the premier law for protecting Australia’s environment, yet it is powerless.

The Australian Koala Foundation’s (AKF) research indicates that the Koala is in trouble and that extinctions of local populations have already occurred. In contrast to the millions of Koalas which were thought to be present at the time of European settlement, the AKF believes that there could be less than 80,000 remaining today, possibly as few as 43,000. If this rate of decline continues then yes, the Koala is at risk of extinction.

In 1902 in the state of New South Wales alone 600,000 koala skins were publicly sold. The historian Ellis Troughton has claimed that nearly 2 million koala skins were exported from Australia as recently as 1924. By the late 1920’s the Koala was almost extinct. The situation was so dire that they became extinct in the state of South Australia. There were only a few hundred left in New South Wales and a few thousand in Victoria and Queensland.

The major threats to koalas are listed as

  • Habitat loss
  • Motor vehicle and dog attacks
  • Bush Fires
  • Disease

“We need a national recovery plan that would mean developers have to change their behavior. And yet there’s no sign of it. They’ve got rid of so many people in the department I’m not even sure there’s anyone left who can do it” says Deborah Tabart, chief executive of the Australian Koala Foundation. Unless there’s a plan for a sustainable human population size, and a more diverse economy, then there are few options left for these iconic and world-renown animals!

Habitat loss, motor vehicles and dog attacks, bush fires will all increase with housing and human population growth.

The National Koala Alliance (NKA), which was launched recently, and aims to ensure the national icon survives and thrives for future generations. It is a non-profit network of koala conservation, welfare, advocacy and research groups working in habitat conservation, political lobbying and the protection of individual koalas. Biodiversity legislation is being watered down and koala habitat is being destroyed by coastal peri-urban development and other harmful activities such as industrial-scale logging in the state’s forests, poorly regulated private native forestry and mining, the article says. Corporate power and demands for resources and land, means continually loosening environmental controls, and releasing land for housing developments.

Queensland Koala Crusaders secretary Vanda Grabowski said State Government law dictates all koalas that are not considered reproductively viable are euthanised.

Property developers said back in 2011 that the push to list koalas as endangered will threaten an industry which employs 11 per cent of the state’s workforce. The Property Council of Australia said koalas were adequately protected! Anything in their path gets bulldozed, and with the heavy support of governments, housing always is prioritized over native animals that can go “elsewhere”!.

“At the moment if a koala isn’t considered reproductively viable it is killed, that’s the law,” Ms Grabowski said. In the past 30 years, koala populations on the Sunshine Coast have dramatically declined.

Unfortunately a lot of wildlife corridors are not linked, so koalas can’t move from one to another. This effectively restricts them to one area. The placement of wildlife corridors should be planned so that one links to another to allow free movement of our native wildlife.

The Pacific Highway threatens to bisect koala populations in the north of NSW. Habitat loss for urban development continues on the coastal lowlands. The future looks bleak for koalas. If current declines continue, koalas will be extinct in NSW by 2055.

Property developers have had a boom time, and now it’s time for a sustainable and innovative economic model. The destruction of habitats for the housing boom must end. We need to stop the addiction to “growth”, and it’s destructive bulldozing of koala habitat. We need a sustainable population plan for Australia, not just bulldozer economics!

Stop Driving Koalas towards extinction

Koalas in Australia suffer from a severe chlamydia epidemic. Take action!

Please Save our koalas from extinction – Call in and refuse the ‘Shoreline’ Development Application to Redland City Council – Redland Bay MCU013287


Please write to him and tell him to “lay the maps on the floor, make a coffee and ingest what you are seeing in this graphic display of science at its best”.

Email: Malcolm.Turnbull.MP@aph.gov.au

Tweet: @TurnbullMalcolm

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Perth’s lethal urban sprawl killing off Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos

Flocks of Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos winging their way to their evening roost sites has been a familiar sight around Perth for decades. Their days are numbered!
Updated research from BirdLife Australia shows that flocks are getting smaller as the population of these large, white-tailed, black-cockatoos declines each year.

600 people took part in Birdlife Australia’s Great Cocky Count, earlier this year, but the minimum number of Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos recorded in the Greater Perth–Peel Region was 5518 birds, continuing the drop in numbers from previous years’ counts. Records have shown a significant, ongoing decline in their population, a reduction in flock size as well as fewer occupied roost sites around Perth.

(image: Birdlife Australia- http://birdlife.org.au/projects/southwest-black-cockatoo-recovery)

This is not an evolutionary trend, due to climate change or other environmental trends, but deliberate habitat destruction! “Perth suburbs continue to expand into the bushland that traditionally supported black-cockatoos. So the black-cockatoos moved into the pine plantations for food and shelter, but now these plantations are being cleared and not replaced.” Thanks mainly to ridiculously high immigration levels, the human population continue to swell, and the deadly threat of urban sprawl spreads like the metastasis of cancer!

Perth’s deadly urban sprawl is heating up the metropolitan area and driving out native animal species, according to an Environmental Protection Authority report. The EPA said species that were present at the time of settlement had disappeared from the region, including 12 mammals such as the numbat, while 46 bird species were in decline and many plants were threatened with extinction. Between 2001 and 2009, some 6,812 hectares of natural bush were cleared within the Perth metropolitan region alone.

Perth’s human population grew by 2.5 per cent in the 12 months to June 2014 – an extra 48,400 people – with 2.02 million people now calling Greater Perth home. New plans mapping out locations to develop 800,000 new homes in Perth and Peel to accommodate for a future population of 3.5 million have been released by the WA Government. The cost of “progress” ignores the environmental costs, and the loss to native species!

Perth’s urban sprawl could be stopped if some of the city’s open space including parks and gardens – is sacrificed for housing! There’s never the option of slowing down our population growth! The pressure is to make the city “more compact”.

The Carnaby’s black cockatoo is one of only two species of white-tailed black cockatoo in the world. The other is the Baudin’s black cockatoo. Both are unique to Southwest Australia.

Half of Perth’s bird species have suffered declines since European settlement. Department of Parks and Wildlife senior wildlife officer Rick Dawson said at the time that 85 Carnaby’s Cockatoos had been killed on the road in eight weeks – a major blow for a species that’s declined from a wild population of 150,000 to between 20,000 and 60,0000 in 30 years.

Black Cockatoos are just another victim of ongoing human greed for economic growth, capitalistic growth, a Colonial frontier mentality, over-population destroying Nature and adding more species to our threatened/extinct list!

Take Action: sign the petition

Donate to Birdlife Australia

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Petition:Protect koala habitat in an effort to better ensure koalas will not die off.

Koalas are declining in rapid numbers because the trees where they spend a majority of their time are being quickly chopped down.

Roads are being built where there were once trees, increasing the risk that the animals will be hit by cars. In addition, when houses are built in place of the trees that once covered the particular land, the animals are in greater danger of being attacked by the dogs of the people who now live in the newly built houses.

Up here in Queensland and New South Wales, they’ve got koalas that are declining rapidly, population’s dropping off the face of the Earth right on their doorstep and we’re not able to do anything about it, seemingly. In South East Queensland, the human population is increasing by more than 1000 people a week. This rapid population growth and increased need for houses is placing considerable pressure on the limited remaining koala habitat.

Currently, about 80 percent of the koalas’ habitat is almost completely ruined due to human encroachment. Only a small portion of this land is now protected. This is ironic when one considers that the koala is a protected species. Yet, because the koala’s habitat is constantly being destroyed, about 4,000 of these animals are killed by cars and dogs every year.

The human population of the narrow strip between Noosa and the Gold Coast – South East Queensland’s “200km city” – will swell by 2.2 million to 5.5 million in 30 years. It’s all part of the “big Australia” policy! That extra development will finally get rid of koalas in SE Queensland, something governments been working very hard to achieve for decades. Massive immigration coupled with a PM who doles out infrastructure funding not on need but only to those who follow his radical political ideology on asset sales.

Urge officials to protect larger areas of the eucalyptus forests where these animals live in order to help save them. If we don’t do something now, koalas may soon have no place in the wild that solely belongs just to them.

Sign the Petition

The Redlands koala population, estimated in 1999 to be 6,200 animals, has plummeted by approximately 75% (in 15 years). The koala was recently listed by your government as ‘vulnerable’ in Queensland with South East Qld suffering the greatest loss of koala numbers.
Habitat loss (to property developers and infrastructure) is the greatest threat to the koala’s survival followed by disease, vehicle strikes and domestic dog attacks.

On Line Petition to save koalas in the southern area of Redlands

Since European settlement, hundreds of species have become extinct in Australia, including at least 50 bird and mammal, 4 frog and more than 60 plant species. It is likely that other species have disappeared but without our knowledge. Many other species are considered to be threatened and are listed under Australian Government legislation as endangered or vulnerable. More than 310 species of native animals and over 1180 species of native plants are at risk of disappearing forever.

As long ago as 1994 the Australian Academy of Sciences advocated a maximum population for Australia of 24 million, a figure we are fast approaching and will soon exceed. In 2010 the National Institute of Labour Studies at Flinders University looked at different levels of net overseas migration – from zero up to 260,000 p.a. – and found that all levels lead to worryingly unsustainable positions, which worsen the higher the levels become.

(featured image: koala dead at Redlands- Queensland government)

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Protect Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos from destructive urban sprawl

Half the remaining Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos would be wiped out under WA’s State Government land-use plans to meet the Perth-Peel region’s population growth over coming decades, a leaked report shows.

The draft Perth and Peel Green Growth Plan is designed to meet the challenge of supporting a projected 3.5 million people by 2050.  This “projected” growth is about promoting housing growth, and urban sprawl!


(image: photo by Ralph Green https://www.flickr.com/photos/ralphebgreen/5645567429)

The plan proposes ways to cut red tape by obtaining Commonwealth environment pre-approvals and fast-tracking state environment approvals for developments.  Cutting “red tape” would also mean land clearing and sacrificing these native cockatoos deliberately to the endangered species list!

“The Plan gives certainty to developers that they will make profits and gives certainty to thousands of cockatoos that they will be killed or die of starvation.

“The population of these beautiful and unique birds has been rapidly declining over the last decade and the Green Growth Plan would fail to address that decline.

“If our environmental laws can allow endangered wildlife to be decimated in this way clearly those laws are failing our environment and need to be changed urgently.

Green Growth plan spells disaster for Cockatoos – Conservation Council of Western Australia.

Carnabys cockatoos exist nowhere else in the world. They are a totem for Noongar people and are part of our shared cultural and environmental heritage.  The State Governments Green Growth Plan would decimate the population of these beautiful birds.

The Noongar people lived in balance with the natural environment for at least 45,000 years. Their social structure was focused on the family with Noongar family groups occupying distinct areas of Noongar Country.  Now, this balance would be destroyed, due largely to mass immigration.

The 23,000-hectare Gnangara Pine Plantation would be cleared to preserve the vital underground water source which lies beneath.  Thousands of cockatoos would die through starvation as their vital food sources are bulldozed to make way for more unsustainable urban sprawl.

There is no economic, environmental, cultural or social reason for more urban sprawl, or this population boom in WA.  There’s nothing “green” about urban sprawl, or this population growth!

Protect Our Cockatoos From Urban Sprawl- Make a submission to the State and Commonwealth Environment Ministers to let them know that the Green Growth Plan must not be approved in its current form. Your impact will be greater if you personalise the message.

Click Here to make you submission

Conservation Council of WA


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Save, Protect and Rezone Tootgarook Swamp on the Mornington Peninsula

As the world prepares to celebrate World Wetland Day 2015 in February, the Tootgarook Swamp is facing a very uncertain future  – as a housing development!  It this how our State government’s version of wetland “conservation”?   Housing will see it gone forever!

AWPC wishes to object to the Planning Applications P14/1202 and P14/1901 at 92 Elizabeth Avenue on the following grounds,

In our opinion the Planning application does not meet the requirements of Section 12, of the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme which states,

Tootgarook swamp is the home of a vast number of animals including 129 bird species, 13 reptillian species, 12 mammals and 9 amphibious frog species (recorded to date).  Due to the lack of proper studies, this number would no doubt increase.

Tootgarook Swamp was once the largest landmark on the southern end of the peninsula stretching almost the whole length between the bay and the ocean. The wetland is made of a special peat soil and used to be home to hundreds of species of native fauna, many now extinct in the area.

It is home to over 120 different bird species, some of which are endangered or threatened. Many are migratory and travel thousands of kilometres to the area to use breeding site and produce new generations of birds.

The Swamp contains many indigenous flora species which no longer readily occur on the peninsula.

A lot of the Tootgarook swamp is zoned as residential and industrial and even worse is the fact that there are development proposals for approximately 80 hectares of it. This makes up almost a quarter of the swamp!

Currently approximately 77 hectares is marked for future development proposals totalling almost a quarter of the entire swamp. After another almost 3 hectares was lost to a housing subdivision infill recently.

Rezoning parts of Tootgarook Swamp for housing development should be rejected.

-Planning should help to protect the health of ecological systems and the biodiversity they support (including ecosystems, habitats, species and genetic diversity) and conserve areas with identified environmental and landscape values.

-Planning must implement environmental principles for ecologically sustainable development that have been established by international and national agreements.  The word “sustainable” far too generic and over-used, and should be replace by the word “stewardship” of ecological and environmental systems, and this “development” is nothing short of a mockery of it!

-Planning should protect sites and features of nature conservation, biodiversity, geological or landscape value.  How can digging up Tootgaroot Swamp protect any ecological features?  Housing is NOT endangered in Victoria, and our real estate Ponzi pyramid is camouflaging our economy’s weaknesses.  We should be promoting real economic prowess, productivity and innovation, not dead-end and destructive housing growth!  The more houses that are built, the more our population will increase – not the converse!

-The application not only fail to address these sections of the State Planning Policy Framework, but completely contradict it.

-It seems that extremely minimal regard has been applied to the sites ecosystem, habitat, species, biodiversity and environmental values. The fact that it makes up an important part of environmental habitat and connectivity of the Tootgarook Swamp which it is part of, landscape value and ecosystem in terms of hunting grounds, breeding grounds, food sources and wildlife refugia during and outside inundation events has not been addressed, nor does the planning application try to conserve any part of these values.  It seems that any wildlife, or habitat, or biodiversity loss is no more than collateral damage, and a mere obstruction to housing profits.

-The Tootgarook Swamp is a key natural feature of the Nepean Peninsula being only one of two natural depressions where fresh groundwater is at the surface, the other being Portsea lagoon.

-The proposed A 99 Planning development site was home to what was classified as state significant vegetation, before being modified and sown with rye grass in 2008.

-Mapping surveys carried out in 2003 by DEPI’s Arthur Rylah Institute in conjunction with the shire council and in 2006 by Practical Ecology have record of the default values of the site and should set the bench mark for appropriate offsets being made. Considering the applicants disregard for the site from 2008, the Council should not be undertaking the method of rewarding developers with permits for land that have been destroyed, or degraded by the developers.

A firm stance should be taken by this shire in order to prevent landholders and developers benefiting from illegal clearing no matter the reason or excuse, as ultimately this reduces the required number of offsets for a site, thus increasing their profitability and can be viewed as a form of fraud.

Significant fauna species that have been recorded within the site and surrounding reserves include:

Australasian Bittern,





Latham’s Snipe, (above)





Common Greenshank, (above)




Marsh Sandpiper,(above)






Eastern Great Egret (above)

Little Egret,
Intermediate Egret,
White footed dunnart,





Swamp Skink (above)
Lewin’s Rail,
Glossy Grass Skink,
Australian Shoveler,




Freckled Duck, (above)
Nankeen Night Heron,




Royal Spoonbill, (above)




Pacific Gull (above).
The Australasian Bittern an EPBC listed and had been frequently observed and photographed on the applicant’s site this year. With the EPBC migratory (CAMBA, JAMBA, ROKAMBA and Bonn) species Latham’s Snipe, Sharp Tailed Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, and Marsh Sandpiper have been seen utilising the very front of the site.

This also does not include a large list of fauna that is of regional and local significance or uncommon.

As the proposals are situated within an area of high biodiversity value the proposals infill, design, and sitting of buildings fails to minimise the removal and fragmentation of native vegetation.

The greater Tootgarook swamp has been mapped by DEPI (Department of Environment and Primary Industries) as possibly containing Acid Sulphate Soils which could pose a serious problem if disturbed, both to the development and to the adjacent Sanctuary Park Bushland Reserve and Chinamans Creek Reserve as well culvert infrastructure. The boundary soils will be disturbed by any possible retaining wall construction or by heavy machinery used to batter and fill under this proposal.

Please send objection to:

Mornington Peninsula Shire,

Statutory Planning Department

Private Bag 1000

Rosebud, 3939.

This is not a “development” proposal, but is asking for a permit to vandalize an ecological feature, and biological reserve with destruction.

CommunityRun Petition:Save, Protect and Rezone Tootgarook Swamp on the Mornington Peninsula 

Visit the website SaveTootgarookSwamp

(featured image: Marsh Sandpiper)

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Southern Brown Bandicoot’s declining numbers in south east Victoria

THE federal Department of the Environment earlier this was trying to take the southern brown bandicoot off its threatened species list. However, Federal Environment minister Greg Hunt rejected claims his government doing this. He was responding to an article pub­lished in The Times last month (‘Bandicoot under threat from govt’, The Times 26/1/15).

In 2001 when the species was put on the endangered list, a SBB recovery groups was establish and they were selected as the flagship species in the Western Port Biosphere Reserve, to receive special attention. Hundreds of people, including scientists and government agencies, private consultants and landholders had workshops, and the Victorian government created strategy after strategy to protect them, but nothing worked.

A proposal for habitat corridors for the SBB in the draft Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, released in 2011, was withdrawn by the State Government and revised using consultation. The proposal is that there should be at least two 80m wide corridors leading to reserves to the south and reserves or Green Wedge land to the east – to ensure the sustainability of the species. The former Growling Grass Frog corridor along Clyde Creek should be reinstated.

There is too much of the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy that’s left to the Precinct Structure Planning process, rather than an independent role of a monitor to ensure impartiality.

In March 2014, the Coalition state government removed habitat corridors from its plans to protect the southern brown bandicoot in the southeast. and DEPI and Parks Victoria declared a secret war on Southern Brown Bandicoot ~ April 2014

Once common in the south-east, now, just two viable populations remain in the region – at Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne and in undeveloped parts of Koo Wee Rup at the northern end of Western Port. A third population on Quail Island in Western Port has been decimated by wild pigs released on the island by hunters. The SBB is listed as an important component of the Ecological Character of the Western Port Bay Ramsar site and there is continuity of local populations of bandicoots with areas traversed by the Koo Wee Rup Bypass

Southern_Brown_Bandicoot_Victoria(image: Southern Brown Bandicoot, Cranbourne Vic 1984)

They proposed to conduct regulars fox and cat control programs in the Pines for the protection of this species, knowing very well that SBB’s are not there anymore.(Already costing well over $ 100.000.00) They refuse to install a predator-proof fence around the Pines which is the only realistic way to protect the SBB in the Pines ones re-introduced. (They just want that money)

Ecologist Hans Brunner, from Frankston, has been involved with Southern Brown Bandicoots (SBB) for more than 40 years. He vividly remembers finding SBB all over the Mornington Peninsula, in the Frankston area, and especially in the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve which had the larges and strongest colony in the region. Sadly, they have silently disappeared and in many places they’ve become extinct!

How could this happen?

Local wildlife expert Mr Legg said evidence of SBB populations recovering in a couple of places in Australia was no reason to remove legal protection. He had “reluctantly watched the crash and local extinction of SBB populations across the southeastern suburbs of greater Melbourne and within the Western Port catchment” over the past three decades.

The SBB is facing strong competition from housing growth, and urbanisation. The number of dwellings in Mornington Peninsula Shire is forecast to grow from 84,177 in 2011 to 95,955 in 2026. It’s the housing industry that’s become Victoria’s greatest growth industry, and the urban growth boundary is a slippery concept, that keeps expanding with population growth.

At least $120,000 was spent on fox and cat control, while some SBBs remained. It was unsuccessful. Protecting SBB in the region is a grand failure. What’s needed are large reserves surrounded by predator-proof fences. Some insurance colonies are need, with the rest surviving in the wild.

What’s to be gained by de-listing the SBB? Money will be saved by not having to spend in fox and cat control, and developers will be given more permits to build housing.

Jennifer Cunich, executive director of the Property Council, of course would not endorse any expansion of wildlife corridors. She dismissed any science, and any scheme would be of little benefit. It would be like a brewery recommending an AA group!

The SBB is restricted to remnant and exotic vegetation along drains and road reserves in the project area and surrounding landscape which provides cover from predators.

The VicRoads Bypass alignment intersects habitat for the SBB along the existing Healesville Koo Wee Rup Road to the south of Manks Road and core habitat of the Dalmore Koo Wee Rup Cluster of bandicoots at Railway Road/disused South Gippsland Railway Line and levees of the Bunyip River Drain Complex.

There’s no room for complacency, or sitting back watching decline. What’s needed now is to repopulate the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve, and protect the colonies at Cranbourne Botanic gardens. Australia has the highest mammal extinction rate of the modern world, and any “fauna” reserve and green wedges must have local native species. It’s easy to say there are “plenty” elsewhere, but extinction is a process, not one event, and allowing local extinctions is part of a process that MUST stop!

Screenshot from 2015-05-07 10:44:08

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