General

‘It’s time’ for forgotten friends

A leading animal activist says neither of the major parties is doing enough to protect Australia’s endangered wildlife.

With 48 hours until the election, there are many creatures both Liberal and Labor have forgotten about.

Vice President of the Animal Justice Party Katrina Love says it’s not surprising neither party hasn’t put any emphasis on the plight of native wildlife throughout their election campaigns.

“You wouldn’t see anything from them, because they don’t really care about native wildlife,” she says.

“Obviously the Labor party has slightly better policies on animal welfare and animal protection than the Liberal party, but these national parties are pretty abysmal when it comes to wildlife [and] the environment and climate change in general.”

A recent study by the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) found it’s likely there are fewer than 80,000 koalas in Australia, rendering the species functionally extinct due to a lack of numbers to sustain their future generations.

CEO of the AKF Deborah Tabart made a direct plea to whichever party wins government next week to make the changes needed to stop the eradication of the koala.

“I am calling on the new Prime Minister after the May election to enact the Koala Protection Act (KPA) which has been written and ready to go since 2016,” she says in a media release.

“The plight of the koala now falls on his shoulders.”

According to the Australian Nature Conservancy, one in three of Australia’s unique mammals are at risk of extinction, with 300 Australian species on the endangered animals list.

Five endangered animals ‘forgotten’ during the election:

  1. Black-flanked rock-wallaby
  2. Eastern Curlew
  3. Gouldian Finch
  4. Northern Quoll
  5. Black-footed tree-rat

Chair of Zoology and Senior Honorary Research Fellow of the UWA School of Biological Science Professor Don Bradshaw says not all the responsibility falls on the government.

“Everybody always think governments should do everything, in many ways it’s people thinking about things that makes the change rather than just saying it’s government responsibility,” he says.

Deborah Tabart says no matter who is responsible, it’s clear more needs to be done to protect our Australian natives.

“I know the Australian public are concerned for the safety of koalas and are tired of seeing dead koalas on our roads,” she says.

“It is time for the government to respect the koala and protect its habitat.”

Infographic from savethekoala.com

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