On National Threatened Species Day (7 September) an alliance of conservation groups and wildlife carers representing tens of thousands of Queenslanders demonstrated against the impact of tree clearing on Queensland’s rare and endangered wildlife.
Bulldozing of bushland kills, injures and displaces 34 million native mammals, birds and reptiles every year in Queensland, according to a recent report from eminent zoologists.
Animals affected include the vulnerable koala as well as gliders, cockatoos and geckoes.
84,000ha of koala habitat was bulldozed in Queensland from 2013 to 2015, leaving hundreds of koalas killed, hurt and homeless.
Queensland is in the midst of an environmental crisis from land clearing, which is having a direct and destructive impact on Queensland’s wildlife.
A recent Scientific review of the impacts of land clearing on threatened species in Queensland found that tree clearing threatens 210 animal species and 739 plant species on the protected list in Queensland, especially the koala, the mahogany glider, the black throated finch and Condamine earless dragon.
More than one million hectares has been cleared in just four years. This is equivalent to lining up one thousand D9 bulldozers side by side and clearing a 5km wide swathe of destruction stretching from the Queensland-NSW border up to the tip of Cape York.
For our threatened wildlife to survive, Queensland needs much stronger laws to prevent the bulldozing of their habitats.
The alliance is calling on all political parties to back the push for stronger tree clearing laws to better protect remnant and other high conservation value woodlands and habitats, and to use a range of means to strengthen legal safeguards, remove risky self-assessments, support better enforcement monitoring and reporting of clearing and its impacts.
The alliance — launched in May 2017 — comprises Queensland Conservation Council, WWF-Australia, The Wilderness Society, Environmental Defenders Office Qld, the Sunshine Coast Environment Council, Gecko Environment Council, Mackay Conservation Group, Cairns and Far North Environment Centre, the Queensland Koala Crusaders, Koala Action Inc, Pine Rivers Koala Care Assoc. and other groups.