Oct 6, 2022
Australia promised to dedicate at least 30% of its land and $224.5 million to protecting its threatened and endangered species over the next 10 years. It’s the largest conservation effort in the country’s history.
The “Zero Extinctions” action plan names 110 Australian plants and animals for protection. It also names 20 habitats for preservation. And it assigns 124,000 acres of land for governmental oversight.
“These are the strongest targets we’ve ever seen.” That's according to a government expert. “I will not ... accept environmental decline and extinction as inevitable,” she said.
The plan also adds 15 new species to the endangered or threatened list.
Australia’s unique wildlife has been hard-hit in recent years. Climate change fueled wildfires in 2019 and 2020. They became known as “The Black Summer” fires. In total, they killed or displaced about 3 billion animals.
Experts know that their goals will be tough to achieve. According to a nature program manager, the plan is key "if future generations of Australians are to see animals like koalas” in the wild.
Why Is Biodiversity So Important?
This beautifully animated video shows the many ways that nature and biodiversity are vital to continuing life on Earth and how species extinctions and habitat destruction are jeopardizing our future.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
This resource is a searchable database with images, graphs, and interactive maps that provide detailed information about nearly 150,000 species.
Endangered Species Act
This article details the history and impacts of the Endangered Species Act, which protects the habitat of species in the United States that are near extinction.