Ecologists dismayed by loss of biodiversity identified in State of the Environment

MEDIA RELEASE

8 March 2017

Ecologists dismayed by loss of biodiversity identified in State of the Environment

The Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) is dismayed that Australia’s biodiversity is continuing to decline, as identified by the latest State of the Environment report.

‘ESA is very concerned with the ongoing loss of biodiversity highlighted by the State of the Environment report released this week,’ says Professor Don Driscoll, President of the Ecological Society of Australia.

The report, commissioned every 5 years by the Australian Government, notes that Australia’s biodiversity is continuing to decline, and new approaches are needed to prevent accelerating decline in many species.

‘The main pressures affecting the Australian environment today are the same as they were 5 years ago, when the last report was published,’ says Professor Driscoll. ‘Clearly there are major failures in regulation, in funding, and in policies that expand population growth.’

The State of the Environment report notes that extensive land clearing and the current clearing policies continue to cause loss of biodiversity, including the loss and fragmentation of native vegetation.

It also notes the lack of long-term monitoring interferes with our ability to apply effective policy and management, and establish adequate early warning of threats. 

‘The State of the Environment report has the headline finding that “our understanding of even the most iconic and well-known species in Australia is often patchy”,’ says Professor Driscoll.

‘The Ecological Society of Australia would like to see support, commitment and resourcing for environmental research and management action in a coordinated fashion at the national scale.’

Professor Driscoll also advocates community action to address the loss of biodiversity. ‘I would urge everyone to do something for biodiversity in their lives – from doing a citizen science activity, joining a local park-care group, or making Australia's natural heritage a priority when considering who to vote for.’

The Ecological Society of Australia is the peak group of ecologists in Australia, with over 1100 members from all states and territories. 

The State of the Environment report is available at https://soe.environment.gov.au/

For further information: 
Simon Torok, Scientell, 0409 844 302