The Australian species facing an existential crisis | Review of northern beaches



ARCADIA VELVET GECKO – CRITICALLY ENDANGERED:

* Only found in two remains of Brigalow Forest in the central highlands of Queensland

* One parcel is 7 square kilometers, the other 2 square kilometers. They are among the last remaining forest patches in a landscape cleared for agriculture

* The threat of fire is considered potentially imminent and a fire could cause them to disappear

THE BOGONG BUTTERFLY – AT RISK

* Climate change is fueling droughts and temperature changes in its winter breeding habitat and summer caves

* The species is now considered to be present in less than five locations

* Severe drought in 2017-18 is associated with dramatic population declines in Alpine caves where they retreated en masse for the summer

KATYDID MARAUDANT OF KANGAROO ISLAND – IN DANGER

* This bush cricket is only found on Kangaroo Island, but bushfires have caused an estimated 79% decline in numbers over the past decade

* Found in five or fewer locations over an area of ​​approximately 1900 square kilometers

* The continued threat of bushfires and the continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat due to previous fires means it is now considered endangered

THE GRAY-HEADED FLYING FOX – VULNERABLE:

* Estimated to have decreased by more than a third over the past 20 years; similar scale losses are expected until 2035

* Species suffering from loss and degradation of foraging habitat, mainly due to bush fires and land clearing

* Extreme heat and food shortages caused mass death events

* Tens of thousands of people died in the black summer of 2019-2020 when mega-fires affected 34% of the species’ total habitat and 42% of winter foraging resources

AUSTRALIAN SANDAL – VULNERABLE:

* Highly prized and harvested for its fragrant heartwood and oil. It is found in the arid and semi-arid southern two-thirds of Western Australia and South Australia

* Very slow to grow and regenerate, it is listed as endangered in South Africa but is still harvested in WA, which has exported it for almost 200 years

* Trees of marketable size are generally 90 to 115 years old. Legal and illegal harvesting occurs at more than six times the level recommended by the WA Conservation Service

* There has been very little natural regeneration outside conservation reserves since at least the 1930s

GREEN ABALM – VULNERABLE

* A large species commercially fished from Geographe Bay south of Perth to the Victoria / NSW border and parts of the northern Tasmanian coast

* It comprises about 15 percent of the total Australian abalone catch; most are exported

* Of eight fishing grounds in four states, none is classified as sustainable. One is out of stock, four is out of stock, and three is undefined due to lack of data

* Researchers have warned that many species could be lost to the effects of climate change, such as higher sea surface temperatures

* Biomass has declined by at least 30 percent since 1980 due to historic fishing pressures and environmental changes, including marine heat waves

BLACK LIP ABALLE – VULNERABLE

* Found off NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and western South Africa and fished commercially. It accounts for 80 percent of the total Australian abalone catch, most of which is exported.

* Although the fishery is well managed, historical fishery data indicates that there has been a 30-50 percent biomass loss over the past 40 years

* Assumed to be threatened by marine heat waves induced by climate change which can cause mass mortality events

Associated Australian Press


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