Conservation laws fall short in face of possible extinction

Existing federal and Queensland state laws are falling short of protecting the habitat of the southern black-throated finch, which is facing imminent extinction.

According to researchers from the University of Queensland, existing and newly proposed laws are inadequate for the protection of habitat in the face of agriculture and grazing.

“Extensive clearing for agriculture and grazing has been allowed in the finch’s open woodland habitat – from north of Townsville to New South Wales,” Dr Reside said.

“Australia and Queensland have laws to protect threatened species, but they’re failing to do just that.

“Two Australian mammals and a lizard have gone globally extinct in the last ten years, and with extensive habitat destruction still being approved by governments, the finch may be next.”

“This species is now in a very perilous situation, but recently approved developments will clear much of the best remaining habitat for the southern black-throated finch.”

Dr Reside said approved developments had relied on ‘habitat offsets’ to compensate, but a recent study showed offsets were failing to provide habitat for the endangered bird.

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