The NSW Environment Minister must act upon alarming new evidence by WWF that estimates that 90 percent of some native species were wiped out by bushfires by immediately protecting more threatened species habitat, says Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and spokesperson for the environment.
The report by Eco-Logical consultants, prepared for WWF Australia, comprises the results of extensive fauna surveys of Gibraltar Range and Torrington State Conservation Area in North-East NSW.
“Even before the bushfires, NSW was in the grips of an extinction crisis, but the massive loss of native animals over the summer has pushed our wildlife to the brink,” says Ms Faehrmann.
“Despite this the Government continues to allow logging of native forests and clearing of threatened species habitat for development, while land clearing on farmland continues virtually unchecked.
“The numbers in this report are clear: unless destruction of unburnt threatened species habitat stops, the Premier and Environment Minister are signing death warrants for our precious native animals like the koala.
“The Government needs to introduce watertight protections for threatened species habitat now including expanding the national park estate and increasing protection for native vegetation on private land.
“We also need to see a massive government stimulus package to restore habitat and create thousands of jobs by employing people to plant trees, restore forests and rehabilitate the land.
“The only way to stop some of our most precious native animals becoming extinct is by taking strong action now. Sitting on your hands doing nothing to save our wildlife and their remaining habitat after the bushfires is as good as giving a green light to their extinction,” said Ms Faehrmann.