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OUR WORK

Australia is a world leader in species extinction and declines, largely due to invasive species.

Our Work  |  Ending extinction | Photo by Wayne England

 

Extinct: Desert bandicoot

The desert bandicoot is one of 5 extinct mammals whose bones have been retrieved from 2 caverns at Uluru (Ayers Rock) where owls and dingoes once fed on them as prey.

The scientist who knew this mammal best was Hedley Finlayson, who, in 1961, after multiple desert expeditions, recalled that it had been fairly plentiful in the early 1930s in and around the Great Victoria Desert in South Australia, ‘but is now absent or rare in this fox infested quarter’. He believed it still survived further north.

When Aboriginal elders in outback Australia were asked in the early 1980s about rare and missing mammals, many recalled this species as living across a vast area. They said it disappeared from various regions 15 to 40 years prior. The most recent recollections came from Pintupi people who spoke of eating it 15–20 years before in an area near Lake Mackay in the Great Sandy Desert. That could mean the species survived until the 1970s.

Foxes and cats are blamed for the desert bandicoot’s extinction. The large fires that sometimes followed the end of Aboriginal burning may also have contributed to its plight by reducing food and shelter from predators

The desert bandicoot lived on sandplains and dunes with spinifex, and on tussock grass flats, and sheltered in grass-lined nests in scrapes hidden under litter, grass or a shrub.

Photo: David Staples (© Museums Victoria)

Extinct

Australia has lost about 100 native plants and animals to extinction since colonisation, most of which were mainly due to invasive species. An estimated 27 of those extinctions occurred since the 1960s. 

Learn more about some of Australia’s lost animals:

Mountain mist frog

EXTINCT (1990s)

White-chested white-eye

EXTINCT (2000s)

Sharp-snouted day frog

EXTINCT (1990s)

Christmas Island pipistrelle

EXTINCT (2000s)

Yallara (lesser bilby)

EXTINCT (1960s)

Dear Project Team,

[YOUR PERSONALISED MESSAGE WILL APPEAR HERE.] 

I support the amendment to the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan to allow our incredible National Parks staff to use aerial shooting as one method to rapidly reduce feral horse numbers. I want to see feral horse numbers urgently reduced in order to save the national park and our native wildlife that live there.

The current approach is not solving the problem. Feral horse numbers have rapidly increased in Kosciuszko National Park to around 18,000, a 30% jump in just the past 2 years. With the population so high, thousands of feral horses need to be removed annually to reduce numbers and stop our National Park becoming a horse paddock. Aerial shooting, undertaken humanely and safely by professionals using standard protocols, is the only way this can happen.

The government’s own management plan for feral horses states that ‘if undertaken in accordance with best practice, aerial shooting can have the lowest negative animal welfare impacts of all lethal control methods’.

This humane and effective practice is already used across Australia to manage hundreds of thousands of feral animals like horses, deer, pigs, and goats.

Trapping and rehoming of feral horses has been used in Kosciuszko National Park for well over a decade but has consistently failed to reduce the population, has delayed meaningful action and is expensive. There are too many feral horses in the Alps and not enough demand for rehoming for it to be relied upon for the reduction of the population.

Fertility control as a management tool is only effective for a small, geographically isolated, and accessible population of feral horses where the management outcome sought is to maintain the population at its current size. It is not a viable option to reduce the large and growing feral horse population in the vast and rugged terrain of Kosciuszko National Park.

Feral horses are trashing and trampling our sensitive alpine ecosystems and streams, causing the decline and extinction of native animals. The federal government’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee has stated that feral horses ‘may be the crucial factor that causes final extinction’ for 12 alpine species.

I recognise the sad reality that urgent and humane measures are necessary to urgently remove the horses or they will destroy the Snowies and the native wildlife that call the mountains home. I support a healthy national park where native species like the Corroboree Frog and Mountain Pygmy Possum can thrive.

Kind regards,
[Your name]
[Your email address]
[Your postcode]


Dear Project Team,

[YOUR PERSONALISED MESSAGE WILL APPEAR HERE.] 

I support the amendment to the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan to allow our incredible National Parks staff to use aerial shooting as one method to rapidly reduce feral horse numbers. I want to see feral horse numbers urgently reduced in order to save the national park and our native wildlife that live there.

The current approach is not solving the problem. Feral horse numbers have rapidly increased in Kosciuszko National Park to around 18,000, a 30% jump in just the past 2 years. With the population so high, thousands of feral horses need to be removed annually to reduce numbers and stop our National Park becoming a horse paddock. Aerial shooting, undertaken humanely and safely by professionals using standard protocols, is the only way this can happen.

The government’s own management plan for feral horses states that ‘if undertaken in accordance with best practice, aerial shooting can have the lowest negative animal welfare impacts of all lethal control methods’.

This humane and effective practice is already used across Australia to manage hundreds of thousands of feral animals like horses, deer, pigs, and goats.

Trapping and rehoming of feral horses has been used in Kosciuszko National Park for well over a decade but has consistently failed to reduce the population, has delayed meaningful action and is expensive. There are too many feral horses in the Alps and not enough demand for rehoming for it to be relied upon for the reduction of the population.

Fertility control as a management tool is only effective for a small, geographically isolated, and accessible population of feral horses where the management outcome sought is to maintain the population at its current size. It is not a viable option to reduce the large and growing feral horse population in the vast and rugged terrain of Kosciuszko National Park.

Feral horses are trashing and trampling our sensitive alpine ecosystems and streams, causing the decline and extinction of native animals. The federal government’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee has stated that feral horses ‘may be the crucial factor that causes final extinction’ for 12 alpine species.

I recognise the sad reality that urgent and humane measures are necessary to urgently remove the horses or they will destroy the Snowies and the native wildlife that call the mountains home. I support a healthy national park where native species like the Corroboree Frog and Mountain Pygmy Possum can thrive.

Kind regards,
[Your name]
[Your email address]
[Your postcode]