• 113 animal species recognised as highest priority in wake of bushfires
  • Aussie Ark sanctuaries recognised to have global significance, protecting 14.5% of listed species
  • Aussie Ark species and habitat recovery sanctuaries now more critical than ever

On Tuesday 11 February 2020, the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Waterand the Environment released a list of 113 animal species that have beenidentified by experts of the highest priorities for urgent managementintervention over the months following the 2019-20 bushfires in Australia.

The 2019-20 bushfires in New South Wales have been unprecedented in theirextent and intensity. As of 28 January, the fires in NSW had burnt 5.3 millionhectares, which is 6.7% of the entire state, this includes 2.7 millionhectares in national parks.

Of the 113 recognised animal species, conservation organisation Aussie Arkprovides direct and indirect refuge through species and habitat recovery to14.5% of the species named. That number swells to 32% when excludinginvertebrate and fish species. Conservation action in this decade willdetermine the fate of many of our country’s unique animals.

Australia is home to more species than any other developed country with mostof the nation’s wildlife found nowhere else in the world. Australia also hasthe worst mammal extinction rate on earth, at least 29 of Australia’s 273mammal species have gone extinct since European colonization. To put this in aglobal context, one out of three mammal extinctions in the last 400 years hasoccurred in Australia. An additional 21% is predicted to go extinct at a rateof one to two species per decade without swift conservation action.

Aussie Ark has a broad focus on preserving endangered and threatened New SouthWales native species in the greater Barrington Tops region. The facility is atthe epicentre of fire affected habitat situated in the Barrington Tops. Thespecies that Aussie Ark is committed to saving were under threat pre fire, andnow have been heavily impacted by recent catastrophic events.

The Barrington Tops region in New South Wales, Australia, is home to more than15% of all Australian vertebrate species and are renowned as being one of thefew places where remnant Antarctic Beech forests remain in New South Wales.The ancient Barrington forests, due to their age and size, are a critical sinkfor carbon storage and absorption and are one of only seven major temperaterainforests remaining in the world.

Aussie Ark is focused on species recovery with projects already in place toprotect the Brush-tailed rock-wallaby Tasmanian devil and several otherspecies. Additionally, the Ark is committed to habitat recovery with projectssuch as Koala Ark and a series of wild protected sanctuaries. Aussie Ark hassecured 7000 hectares of critical habitat to manage and protect well into thefuture. Ambitiously, they seek to protect 20,000 hectares of land in theBarrington Tops region. This will be achieved through land lease, private landacquisition and the management of state forest.

Aussie Ark is recognised on a global level by organisations such as GlobalWildlife Conservation and conservation leaders such Leonardo DiCaprio.However, more is needed. Aussie Ark calls upon corporate, community,government and conservation groups to join them in securing the future fornative Australian wildlife.
About Aussie Ark
As a not for profit organisation, Aussie Ark raises the necessary funds tocontinue its ambitious vision. Investment allows for the construction ofcaptive facilities and predator proof fencing on semi-wild parcels of land.Aussie Ark is a registered environmental organisation and charitableinstitution under the Australian Charity and Not-for-Profit Commission. AussieArk has deductible gift recipient status (DGR status) and is registered forGST purposes. More information at www.aussieark.org.au

Image: Aussie Ark – 1 B Long-nosed Potoroo

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