“Un-Happy Threatened Species Day!” Conservation groups’ outrage at decimation of Queensland wildlife by out-of-control bulldozing of bushland

“Un-Happy Threatened Species Day!” Conservation groups’ outrage at decimation of Queensland wildlife by out-of-control bulldozing of bushland

Thursday 7th September is National Threatened Species Day, and an alliance of conservation groups and wildlife carers representing tens of thousands of Queenslanders are highlighting the impact of tree clearing on Queensland’s rare and endangered wildlife.

The alliance launched in May 2017 comprises Queensland Conservation Council, WWF-Australia, the Wilderness Society, Environmental Defenders Office Qld, the Sunshine Coast Environment Council, Gecko Environment Council, Mackay Conservation Group, Cairns and Far North Environment Centre, the Queensland Koala Crusaders, Koala Action Inc, Pine Rivers Koala Care Assoc. and other groups.

 The key facts are that:

  • Bulldozing of bushland kills, injures and displaces 34 million native mammals, birds and reptiles every year in Queensland, according to a recent report from eminent zoologists[1].
  • Animals affected include the vulnerable koala as well as gliders, cockatoos and geckoes.
  • 84,000ha of koala habitat was bulldozed in Queensland from 2013 to 2015[2], leaving hundreds of koalas killed, hurt and homeless.
  • Queensland is in the midst of an environmental crisis from land clearing, which is having a direct and destructive impact on Queensland’s wildlife.
  • A recent Scientific review of the impacts of land clearing on threatened species in Queensland found that tree clearing threatens 210 animal species and 739 plant species on the protected list in Queensland, especially the koala, the mahogany glider, the black throated finch and Condamine earless dragon.[3]
  • More than one million hectares has been cleared in just four years[4]. This is equivalent to lining up one thousand D9 bulldozers side by side and clearing a 5km wide swathe of destruction stretching from the Queensland-NSW border up to the tip of Cape York.
  • For our threatened wildlife to survive, Queensland needs much stronger laws to prevent the bulldozing of their habitats.

The alliance is calling on all political parties to back the push for stronger tree clearing laws to better protect remnant and other high conservation value woodlands and habitats, and to use a range of means to strengthen legal safeguards, remove risky self-assessments, support better enforcement monitoring and reporting of clearing and its impacts.

For further comment contact:

Queensland Conservation Council Coordinator - Dr Tim Seelig on 0439 201 183

Wilderness Society Queensland Campaign Manager - Gemma Plesman on 0423 044 431

Environmental Defenders Office Qld Solicitor - Revel Pointon on 0424 313 627

WWF-Australia media contact: Senior Media Officer  - Mark Symons on 0400 985 571

[1] http://www.wwf.org.au/news/news/2017/tree-clearing-kills-68-million-animals-in-queensland-in-two-years

[2] http://www.wwf.org.au/news/news/2016/84-000-hectares-of-qld-koala-habitat-destroyed-in-2-years

[3] https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/wildlife/threatened-species/documents/land-clearing-impacts-threatened-species.pdf

[4] Queensland Government SLATS reports and linear projection.

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  • Leonard Fitzpatrick
    commented 2017-09-07 10:36:19 +1000
    Pure madness that such widespread, systematic destruction of our natural environment, habitats and wildlife has been and continues to be sanctioned by all tiers of Government. Elected representatives demonstrating arrogant disregard for their responsibility and accountability for a sustainable, liveable future, which must include our native wildlife. ‘Sustainable’ doesn’t and should never be myopically viewed as being able to pillage and destroy our natural landscapes, habitats (homes for wildlife) on a project schedule over a period of time that maximises the self-serving vested interests who have zero accountability or concern for the future. Great to see so many concerned citizens and groups standing together to say enough is enough. The madness must end. ‘Smart State’, ‘Clever Country’? Let’s start to prove it, and demand our elected representatives to take decisive action and commit to a liveable, ecologically-sensitive future. This demands a serious rethink about the unsustainable, failed assumptions that have driven government policy and attitudes – ‘development’ at all costs can no longer be the holy grail, the altar upon which all else must be sacrificed. The costs are TOO high. We as a community have the right to expect more from those we elect. What sort of legacy are we prepared to leave for our children? There is still place on this world for principle, where there so much more of value to us all than profits for a small minority who clearly have no concern or respect for a clean, healthy and thriving environment that supports all manner of life, something that our children and theirs can and should be able to enjoy.