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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: Yallara

Pleas to save the bilby sadly came too late for one species – the lesser bilby or yallara. It was last sighted by a scientist in the 1930s, while Aboriginal people recalled them surviving until the 1960s.

In 1931, a Wangkangurru man showed amateur scientist Hedley Finlayson these animals at Koonchera Dune on the edge of Sturt Stony Desert in South Australia. His guide was adept at excavating their winding burrows dug into steep dunes. Finlayson vividly described the captured yallara:

“…fierce and intractable, and repulsed the most tactful attempts to handle them by repeated savage snapping bites and harsh hissing sounds.”

– Hedley Finlayson, 1931

In the early 1980s, biologists visited almost 50 desert communities across a vast swath of outback on an urgent mission to record information about extinct species. With interpreters and museum skins they asked elders about their desert mammals past and present. Lesser bilbies were remembered in many communities by elders who had not seen them for as long as 60 years. The freshest memories came from Pintupi people who had seen them 20 years previously in hills near today’s settlement of Patjarr in the Gibson Desert of Western Australia. The Pintupi of this region were some of the last Aboriginal people to encounter white Australians, and their recollections imply that this species, which they knew as nantakarra, nyunpi or tjunpi, went extinct in the 1960s. 

Foxes and cats are blamed for the extinction of this small bilby species.

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:

Desert bandicoot

EXTINCT (1970s)

White-chested white-eye

EXTINCT (2000s)

Mountain mist frog

EXTINCT (1990s)

Sharp-snouted day frog

EXTINCT (1990s)

Christmas Island pipistrelle

EXTINCT (2000s)

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]