The Morrison Government will develop a new 10-year strategy to protect Australia’s threatened species, one that will draw heavily on Commonwealth led research following this year’s bushfires and which is expected to include a significant focus on the catastrophic threats from feral pests and predators.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said that consultation on the new strategy will commence in October, as the Morrison Government continues its $200 million investment into bushfire wildlife and habitat recovery and its ongoing $200 million investment into threatened species projects under the National Landcare Program and Environment Restoration Fund.
The Government is committed to the recovery of threatened species, through a national strategy delivering practical on ground action and the development of new science-based tools and technology.
“Over the coming months we will work with scientists, land managers, traditional owners, farmers, local and state governments, communities and environmental groups on designing high-level strategies by the end of the year,” Minister Ley said.
“The bushfires produced a remarkable coming together of environmental groups and governments on these issues - we need to build on this collaboration to give our native species the chance to thrive in the future.
“We face an enormous challenge in addressing threats to our native animals and plants. From the cute and cuddly ones we all know, to others such as the smoky mouse, the green carpenter bee and the matchstick banksia.
“The cumulative impacts of introduced species over two centuries of European settlement, our changed land use and our changing climate are all taking a toll. Feral cats alone are killing close to six million animals every day.
“Threatened species are not just in the bush, they are in our backyards, they are in our parks and we all have a role to play in protecting them.
“This new strategy will build on the first ever Commonwealth Threatened Species Strategy and our work in the National Environmental Science Program (NESP), which has included significant scientific advances in eDNA and other technologies that can support more effective management and monitoring to protect our threatened species.
“NESP has shown we can use eDNA to detect endangered species like the Gouldian Finch, or even the presence of a single cane toad, by collecting a cupful of water.
“Our investment in new tools such as the Curiosity® bait and the Felixer Grooming Trap means we have new ways to tackle the impact of feral cats in the wake of the devastating bushfires. We need to continue to explore how new technologies, whether it be thermal imaging to detect hard to spot predators or new biocontrol and genetic technologies, can help us in our fight against extinction.”
More information on the strategy and the ways people can engage will be available on the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website in coming weeks.
**Last week, the Minister visited wildlife sanctuary Mulligans Flats with Threatened Species Commission Dr Sally Box. Vision of the visit can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1OaFE15HULPe4dfF8cxNf4DQGRoYwl7TK