Who is up to the job of saving our wildlife?

The iconic Tasmanian Devil, once found all across Australia, now only exists in Tasmania and is fighting for survival.Australia is home to some of the world’s rarest and most unique species. People from all over the world flock to our shores to experience our amazing wildlife.

But did you know that Australia has the worst mammal extinction record in the world?

Tasmania's iconic devils are suffering catastrophic decline from facial tumour disease. The Northern hairy-nosed wombat is critically endangered with less than 200 surviving and its southern cousin is in danger of going the same way. And our iconic koala is under increasing threat from habitat loss and suffering local extinctions. Our wildlife is also facing serious welfare issues including disease, hunting, road kill and attacks by domestic pets.

In a bid to turn this around, the Government is appointing a new Threatened Species Commissioner and the terms of the role are up for public comment.

But will this job be given any real teeth or will it be just another exercise in pen-pushing?

To make any impact the role needs to be given power and independence. The job needs to go to someone who will take strong, co-ordinated and decisive action and be a champion for Australia’s wildlife.

There also needs to be sufficient government funding behind this push to bring our wildlife back from the brink of extinction.

Australia currently ranks in the bottom 40 of the most highly underfunded countries for conservation spending – spending less than Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Vanuatu on biodiversity.

If the Government is serious about saving species it needs to step up to the plate and put its money where its mouth is.

--JS

Protect Australia's threatened species, take action now.

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