Our rarer species need help right now

Save the Bilby Fund co-founder Frank Manthey, pictured with Lester the bilby, has addressed a senate inquiry.
Save the Bilby Fund co-founder Frank Manthey, pictured with Lester the bilby, has addressed a senate inquiry. Rob Williams

SAVE The Bilby Fund co-founder Frank Manthey has appeared before a senate inquiry in Brisbane to give his thoughts on the protection of threatened Australian species.

Mr Manthey's submission to the inquiry, on behalf of the bilby fund, was among more than 170 from different organisations and individuals.

"The senate inquiry is being held to look at the impact of feral animals and what they are doing to our native species," he said.

"I talked about the disaster we have created in this great country and how, if we continue to sit back and do nothing, the next generation will never get the chance to see and enjoy what we all have taken for granted."

Mr Manthey called on the inquiry to regularly review submissions, and any recommendations it makes, to effectively monitor progress or the lack of it.

Among the threats to endangered species, he listed the increasing human population, climate change, vegetation clearing, weeds, reduced water quality and introduced predators.

"There are dishearteningly few examples of threats to an existing threatened species being mitigated to the extent that they no longer have a negative impact on that species," Mr Manthey said.

"In fact the only example I can describe is that of removing the harvest pressure on crocodiles and the associated population recovery that has occurred.

"All forms of governments over many years have needed to do more to address the feral animal explosion across Australia.

"However, this is an example where the problem is seen as so big and intractable that professionals have given up on the idea and now perceive those species impacted by cats, foxes and feral dogs as 'unrecoverable'. The lack of policy traction on the matter of feral cats is most particularly offensive as there are solutions that could be trialled."

Topics:  animals bilbies conservation

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