Report released on catastrophic mammal decline in Northern Australia
In the past twenty years, there has been a catastrophic decline in the abundance and species richness of small mammals across northern Australia. From Cape York to the Kimberley, small mammals are disappearing. Urgent intervention is required to prevent a wave of mammal extinctions across Australia’s tropical savannas.
A special feature article on pages 4-9 featured n the Winter 2010 issue of Wildlife Matters provided the background to the scale and reasons for the declines, and then outlines how AWC’s Northern Mammal Recovery project will seek to provide a more secure future for the threatened mammals of northern Australia.
With its partners, AWC will carry out a series of landscape-scale management experiments at each of its eight northern properties to find the combination of fire and feral animal control actions that promotes recovery in our native wildlife.
At the same time, an ambitious research program will target key knowledge gaps that limit our ability to stop and reverse the mammal declines; this includes a focus on the impacts and control of feral cats.
A key report on this issue, Into Oblivion: The disappearing mammals of northern Australia, was released last week.
Compiled by leading scientists from the Northern Territory government, The Nature Conservancy, Pew Environment Group and Australian Wildlife Conservancy, the report combines historic information from early explorers and biologists, with indigenous aural histories and new survey data, to demonstrate the geographic and taxonomic scale of the problem. The report presents the case for why we must act to prevent the looming extinctions, and how this can be achieved.
Media Coverage on the Northern Mammal extinction crisis
- Listen to the ABC Radio National Report on Breakfast, 10.9.10
or go to ABC online http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2010/3007867.htm
- Quoll call just a part of saving life, The West Australian, 16.09.10
- Listen to the ABC Rural (Northern Territory) Report on Sally the Dog, Feral Cats and the Northern Mammal Extinction Crisis.
- Read "Sniffer dog tracks feral cats" ABC Rural Report for Kimberley: Wednesday 29.09.10