NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service has just announced a ‘zero extinctions’ target and a detailed plan to prevent any of the 800 threatened species in NSW National Parks from dying out.
Why do we need a zero extinction target?
Straight up, Australia has the worst rate of mammal extinction in the world (eeeek). 70 flora and fauna species have been lost from NSW alone including 25 mammals.
But! NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service’s (NPWS) new zero extinctions target is the first of its kind in the country, and one of the first in the world. Woohoo!
Around 800 of the 900 threatened species found in NSW lie within national parks bounds, so the NPWS has a pretty big responsibility when it comes to looking after our precious flora and fauna, especially when it’s at risk of a bunch of threats like climate change, feral animals, invasive weeds, and changed fire regimes.
The NPWS’ main aim is to improve, or at least stabilise, the trajectory of threatened species in the parks by June 2030.
How will they do that?
The zero extinctions plan will address the issue of threatened species on a number of fronts, including;
- acquiring land with key habitats to add to the national park estate
- creating a network of areas free of feral predators to support the reintroduction of 25 species that are locally extinct
- the biggest feral animal control program in national park history
- creating a dedicated unit to consider threatened species in new fire plans
- declaring and managing the habitat of important threatened species as Assets of Intergenerational Significance
221 of the Assets of Intergenerational Significance have already been announced, including Wentworth Falls, the Nightcap Range in Northern NSW, plus areas in Kanangra-Boyd National Park, Kosciuszko National Park, and the Warrumbungles.
NPWS will work in partnership with Aboriginal communities to roll out the plan and will be keeping annual tabs on its progress, so keep an eye out for improvements! (Fingers crossed).
Photo thanks to NSW NPWS