Over 90% of the nation’s threatened species’ habitat destruction has happened in just 12 federal electorates, according to a new survey released by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).
Conducted in collaboration with the University of Queensland, the survey shows that the vast majority (93%) of hreatened species habitat destruction in Australia over the last two decades has been concentrated in just 12 federal electorates, nine of which are held by Liberal and National MPs.
The study found that the worst performing electorate was Maranoa in Queensland, currently held by Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, where two million hectares of threatened species habitat has been destroyed since 2000.
Durack which is Australia’s largest electorate and held by Environment Minister Melissa Price, was rated sixth worst for habitat destruction. More than 310,000 hectares of threatened species habitat has been destroyed in Durack, harming animals like the Northern Quoll, Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo and the elusive Night Parrot.
“In just 17 years, some plants and animals have lost almost 25 per cent of their habitat,” lead author Michelle Ward from the University of Queensland said.
“If we’re to prevent yet more extinctions in Australia, we need to halt the decline of threatened species habitat, otherwise, we may lose them forever.”
Professor James Watson, Director of the University of Queensland’s Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, said the analysis shows just how bad the destruction of habitat for Australia’s precious threatened species has become.
“Australians need to realise we are sleepwalking through an ever-worsening extinction crisis,” Professor Watson said.
“These results show the laws we have to protect our wonderful natural heritage are not working and that is a significant failure of government.”