Myopic Australian researchers say that invasive species are the number one threat to Australia's wildlife
Research by Australia's national science agency and the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions states that invasive species to that continent are the number one threat to wildlife. They refer to plants and animals. Animals often cited are feral cats, rabbits, and foxes but there are others. Of these the feral cat is perhaps the most hated by the authorities.
|Myopic Aussies. Pic: Pixabay - modified.|
I read this news online in The Guardian newspaper online. I don't see any reference in that article to habitat loss due to human activity. In general, across the globe, habitat loss due to human population growth and therefore increased human activity, is the single biggest destroyer of wildlife. Why should this be any different in Australia? It probably isn't.
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Arguably, if is possible to assess it accurately enough, humans are the number one threat to Australia's wildlife. And non-native species are the second most important threat. But humans are writing the report. They are myopic when it comes to their behaviour. They are biased. They are suffering from an acute attack of speciesism.
Perhaps the problem is this: humans cannot change their ways and therefore they simply do not consider what they might do to minimise their impact on Australia's wildlife. And it is much easier to blame animals and to kill them in order to curb their predatory activities.
Of course, it is very difficult to get rid of feral cats in Australia. This is been proved time and again despite the ingenious and sinister methods that Australian ploy to slaughter feral cats in large numbers.
One underlying aspect is climate change. Humankind is the author of its own problems in this regard. It isn't just habitat loss because of the building of human settlements and commercial enterprises which destroys the homes of wild species. It is also the destruction of habitat due to fires and the heating up of the environment which makes life on earth untenable for wild species.
I am convinced that when you combine habitat loss and climate change, both of which are caused by people, you have to conclude that the greatest threat to Australia's wildlife is Australians.
Having come to that conclusion I'll add a few details about this report. They say that the problem of invasive species is costing Australia AU$25 billion annually. They argue that more than 80% of nationally listed threatened plants, animals and habitats are affected by alien species. They want urgent development of new technologies to eradicate and prevent invasive pests.
They think it's important to get on top of the problem now. Yet they've been struggling with this problem for decades it seems to me. Every 6-12 months they come up with a new toy which is designed to poison as many animals as possible using 1080 poison which is very painful. They don't care if the animals die a painful death or not. It's irrelevant in their equation.
Australians need to look themselves in the mirror and do much more themselves to help save their precious native species. The most vulnerable are small mammals living in the brush and undergrowth. Billions of animals were killed by the recent devastating forest fires which it is believed were caused by climate change or at least the extent of the fires was greatly exaggerated by climate change.