Australia launches zero-extinction plan; wallaby, snake among threatened species

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As wildfire groups warn that human activities are leading to a depletion of the nation’s habitats and that many of Australia’s species are just clinging to existence, Australia has now listed 15 new species as threatened. They include a small wallaby and grey snake.

On Tuesday, the country launched an ambitious ‘zero-extinction’ plan, that over the next 10 years would try and halt slide of 110 “priority species” into extinction. It would create a “halo effect” on interdependent species in the same habitat, said Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek. 

Protection of 20 “priority places” from further degradation is also included. Plibersek remarked that it could create “little Noah’s Arks of places returning to healthy populations of plants and animals”.

“The Black Summer bushfires in particular have seen devastating results for many species. We are determined to give wildlife a better chance,” said the minister, adding that listing species as threatened under national environment law “is a critical step in protecting the species and habitats in need  of urgent help.”

As per reports the Black Summer fire burned through 5.8 million hectares in eastern Australia and killed, and displaced an estimated 1-3 billion animals.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government announced that the scheme plans to try and prevent any new extinction of Australia’s flora and fauna while conserving at least 30 per cent of the nation’s land mass.

The small Parma wallaby, which is at risk from predators and bushfires, the endangered Queenslandian grey snake, which is mildly venomous, and the endangered small wingless matchstick grasshopper are among the 15 plants and animals that are classified as threatened.

Wildlife groups have welcomed the plan and called the objective “ambitious” adding that it is essential if future generations of Australians are to see animals like koalas, mountain pygmy possums, greater gliders and gang cockatoos.”

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