Sunday, 11 March 2018

Australia has 1,800 threatened species but has not listed critical habitat in 10 years

Only five habitats put on critical habitat register since national environmental laws enacted

Mon 5 Mar 2018 17.00 GMTLast modified on Mon 5 Mar 2018 22.59 GMT

Australia has not listed any critical habitat for the protection of threatened species on the federal critical habitat register for more than a decade.

And only five places have been registered on the database since Australia’s national environmental laws – the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act – were enacted.

new Guardian investigation shows that Australia is set to clear 3m hectares of native forest by 2030. Conservationists say the data shows that Australia’s environment laws are failing to protect the habitat necessary for the survival of the more than 1,800 plant and animal species and ecological communities listed as threatened nationally.

 “We have provisions to protect critical habitat under the current laws but they’re not being used effectively and they’re not strong enough,” the Australian Conservation Foundation healthy ecosystems campaigner Jess Abrahams said.

Habitat loss is a main driver of species extinction.

Under the EPBC Act, the federal government can identify land critical to the survival of a species and put it on the national critical habitat register.

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