The End of Animalia?
We are coming back home, looking at the major biodiversity conservation issue facing australia today.
There is evidence to suggest Australia, which leads the world in mammal species lost, is on the cusp of another wave of extinctions.
-Over the last 200 years 22 mammal species have become extinct.
-More than 100 are now on the threatened and endangered species list
Impacts on our wildlife include: feral animals, particularly foxes and cats, increased grazing pressure, altered fire regimes, clearing of habitat and the effects of climate change. Such factors act in concert and have led to a significant crashes in population numbers. It is also worrying because the problem is more far reaching than assumed, especially in South Australia and in Northern Australian regions.
Scientists fear iconic species such as the northern quoll, golden bandicoot and Carpentarian rock-rat may collapse in our life time and join the famous Tasmanian Tiger in extinction.
Professor Chris Johnstone, of James Cook University suggested it was time to bring back the dingo at the International Congress of Ecology in August. He believes a stable population of dingos would suppress the numbers and activity of foxes and cats.
-Other researchers are calling for scientists and land managers to work together in devising new management regimes and guideline to reduce pressure on our biodiversity.
The risks may not only be on the ground.
Australia’s only endemic dolphin could be extinct within three generations. The species has been around for 20,000 years but fewer than 1000 animals alive today. The habitat of the elusive snubnose dolphin is subject to rapid development and the impacts of climate change.
World Wildlife Fund, Tropical Marine Species Manager, Lydia Gibson explained that “ population modelling has shown that in some areas the loss of just one individual per year in addition to natural mortality rates can be enough to trigger irreversible declines in populations.”
The problems of ocean populations extend out into international waters,
Could Fish be finished in forty years????
The current demand for seafood and the rate of exploitation of marine resources, scientists predict that a collapse of fisheries is likely by the 2050 mark and 80-90% of fishing grounds are already overexploited.
Predictions for the future for these animals in look somewhat grim. From fins in global waters to our furry friends back home, environmentalists are calling for increased awareness of their plight, greater understanding and support of projects to tackle potential extinction.
For more info on how you SYNers can turn to good, and help… try the Australian Wildlife Conservancy @ http://www.australianwildlife.org/