Thursday, 9 August 2018

Threatened species: nine mammals and mountain mistfrog could join extinction list

Number of extinct species on EPBC fauna list will rise by almost 20% if species added to list
Tue 10 Jul 2018 19.00 BST

Ten species could soon be added to Australia’s list of extinct fauna, including a Queensland frog that was last seen in 1990.

The federal government’s scientific advisory body is assessing whether to add nine mammals and the mountain mistfrog to its list of native animal species considered extinct under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

If declared extinct, the number of extinct species on the EPBC fauna list will grow by almost 20%, and the number of extinct mammals by one-third, with scientists saying it demonstrates Australia’s extinction record is worse than currently recognised.

Seven of the mammals are species considered to have died out between the 1800s and the 1950s, and which were discovered through small piles of fossil remains.

The remaining two mammals are the bramble cay melomys and the Christmas Island pipistrelle, recent species that scientists confirmed as extinct between 2009 and 2014.

“We’ve lost much of the nature that makes this country distinctive and special,” said John Woinarski, a professor of conservation biology whose book, The Action Plan for Australian Mammals, prompted some of the new assessments.

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