Australia Sets Aside 30% of Land Mass to Protect Unique Species

Australian Environment Minister recently announced that they’ll put aside at least 30 percent of their land mass for the conservation of species.

Tanya Plibersek claims that this plan will keep the flora and fauna of the continent safe, considering they have fauna that doesn’t live anywhere else on the planet.

Unfortunately, Australia already lost more mammal species than any other continent. In a report from July, the country had the worst rate for loss of species among a list of the richest nations in the world.

The report also found that the species added to the list of threatened species or in a higher risk category grew by 8 percent since the last report in 2016.

Major Action to Protect the Flora, Fauna & Ecosystems of Australia

According to the statement by Plibersek, it’s never been more urgent to do something effective to protect the flora, fauna, and ecosystems of Australia and prevent extinction.

They will prioritize 110 species and 20 areas. These places are planned to be increased by 50 million hectares. This 10-year plan is scheduled for review in 2027.

Australia is the sixth largest country by land area. 

It’s home to one-of-a-kind species like platypi and koalas. However, their numbers have been declining due to events associated with severe weather and the encroachment of their natural habitat by humans.

Koalas living along the east coast were listed as endangered in February. 

This happened after the experts on nature estimated that Australia lost around 30 percent of koalas in the last four years.

Severe Weather Contributes to Loss of Flora & Fauna

Australia has long been struggling with severe extreme weather events like the bushfires in 2019 and 2020 which killed 33 people and billions of animals and burned a whole area that is almost half of Germany’s size.

WWF Australia welcomed the conversation efforts of the government; however, they urged authorities to invest in fast recovery plans for every species that’s threatened.

According to WWF Australia’s chief conservation officer, Rachel Lowry, Australia has more than 1900 species that are threatened. This plan chooses only 110 “lucky winners”. So, it remains unclear how the other non-prioritized threatened species will be saved.