Australia earmarks 30% of its land mass to protect endangered flora and fauna
Australia will target to have “zero new extinctions” in a bid to protect plants and animals on the island continent famed for species found nowhere else in the world, Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said on Tuesday.
The announced plan will deliver on the federal government’s target of “protecting 30 per cent of our land and 30 per cent of our oceans by 2030" by setting aside at least 30 per cent of Australia's land mass for conservation, Plibersek said. By prioritising 110 species and 20 places, Plibersek said the areas managed for conservation will be increased by 50 million hectares. The 10-year plan will be reviewed in 2027.
A five-year report released in July by the government showed Australia has lost more mammal species than any other continent and has one of the worst rates of species decline among the world's richest countries.
The sixth-largest country by land area in the world is home to unique animals like koalas and platypus although their numbers have been dwindling. Australia has been battered recently by frequent extreme weather events including the devastating bushfires in 2019 and 2020 in the east that killed 33 people, and billions of animals, and burned an area nearly half the size of Germany.