Thanks to the 1999 Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 26 endangered species in Australia have seen their populations recover
It seems like we’re always hearing about new animals that have become endangered, but there’s some good news in Australia: 26 animal species no longer meet the criteria to be listed as threatened.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
Australia’s biodiversity has been in decline, with more than 1,700 species and ecological communities known to be at risk. In 1999, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act was passed to introduce protections for endangered animals.
The burrowing bettong is one of 26 Australian species that has returned from the brink of extinction
Seemingly these are working, as a recent study published in the journal Biological Conservation reviewed the animals that were previously or currently listed as threatened between 2000 and December 2022, and found that 26 species have recovered to no longer meet the criteria. Species that have seen improvement include the charmingly named burrowing bettong (also known as the boodie), the golden bandicoot and the bulloo grey grasswren.
Factors behind this improvement include habitat management, control of introduced predators and translocation of endangered animals to predator-free islands.
Deslisting endangered species
However, the species have not been officially delisted at this time. The EPBC Act only allows species to be delisted if doing so will not have a negative effect on their survival, and researchers believe that conservation gains could be lost should management efforts be stopped.
"The EPBC Act only allows species to be delisted if doing so will not have a negative effect on their survival"
Dr Michelle Ward, a conservation scientist at WWF Australia, told The Guardian, “The key problem with delisting species is that then they no longer have monitoring and are no longer are eligible for certain funding schemes.”
It is nonetheless promising that researchers have found signs of improvement. Hopefully this will continue among these and other species!
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter
Loading up next...