Tuesday, 4 April 2023
Too many of Australia’s birds are in trouble, and reflecting this sad fact, several more species have been added to the official EPBC list of threatened species. The Pink Cockatoo, Diamond Firetail and Hooded Robin have all been added to the list, while the status of the Red Goshawk and the Painted Button-quail (the subspecies on the Houtman Abrolhos) has been ‘uplisted’ from ‘Vulnerable’ to ‘Endangered’.
Professor Martine Maron, President of BirdLife Australia, was unsurprised to hear that the Pink Cockatoo, Diamond Firetail and Hooded Robin had been added to the list of Australian threatened species, or that the Red Goshawk and Painted Button-quail had been uplisted.
“Ecologists have been concerned about many of these species for two decades or more,” she said. “The threatened list is just one glimpse into the broader tragedy of biodiversity decline in Australia — it’s the tip of the iceberg. And once species make it onto the list, they rarely recover significantly.”
She said that it is more sensible and less expensive to prevent populations from declining in the first place than it is to wait until their numbers have dropped before subsequently trying to help threatened species to recover.
Professor Martine Maron said that the newly-added species were declining due to widespread land clearing and habitat degradation, threats that most urgently need to be addressed to prevent even more of Australia’s birds and other wildlife being added to the threatened list.
“Every bit of habitat destruction takes these species closer to extinction — and takes many more species closer to being added to the threatened list,” she said. “The rate of replanting and restoration is well and truly outstripped by the rate of woodland destruction, so we cannot pretend to be surprised by species declines.”
Australia urgently needs new nature protection laws that work. Make sure the government doesn’t drop the ball on this issue — demand stronger nature laws by signing BirdLife Australia’s petition today.
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