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Janet on Australia's 448 animals threatened with extinction

Speeches in Parliament
Janet Rice 12 Sep 2018

Australia has the highest rate of mammal extinctions, and one of the highest overall extinction rates, in the world, with 448 animals currently threatened with extinction. Think about that: 448 animals—precious and amazing native animals—threatened with extinction. Why do we have such a staggering rate of species loss? It's because of neglect by government after government, Labor and Liberal alike. It's because this government, the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison-whatever-it's-going-to-be-next-week government, is wholeheartedly supporting the logging of our native forests. It's allowing broad scale clearing for agriculture and property developers.


It's slashing jobs and funding in the environment department. It's doing sod all about climate change except changing leaders. It's not doing enough to eradicate pest animals like foxes and cats.

Yet this government then turns around and has the audacity to host a threatened species event at parliament showcasing rare, endangered and threatened species, like the Tasmanian devil, the olive python and the even rarer and more endangered female Liberal minister. This event in parliament was an opportunity for coalition MPs to get a cute feel-good pic, for social media, with a fluffy koala. Meanwhile, they stand by and allow their habitat to be destroyed. Did you know that koalas are set to be extinct in New South Wales by 2050 because of logging and land clearing?

It's astounding and appalling that a country as rich, as developed and as wealthy as ours is robbing future generations of their chance to know and to love our precious wildlife. That's why the Greens set-up the much needed Senate inquiry into the extinction crisis, to shine a light on what is killing our wonderful animals and what needs to happen to protect them. Over 12,000 Australians have already let this inquiry know of their concerns about our threatened wildlife. This is a massive show of public support for urgent, strong action to end the extinction crisis.

There are 448 Australian animals that are either critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable. In the seven minutes that I've got left, I'm going to see if I can name them all to give you a feel for what's at stake—the extent of the extinction crisis that we face. I'm going to start with the mammals that are critically endangered: the Christmas Island shrew, the ledbeater's possum, the northern hairy-nosed wombat, the southern bent-wing bat, the Christmas Island pipstrelle, the Gilbert's potoroo, the western ringtail possum, the Christmas Island flying fox and the central rock-rat.

Then there are the birds that are critically endangered: the King Island scrubtit, the Grey Range thick-billed grasswren, the regent honeyeater, the curlew sandpiper, the great knot, the Mt Lofty Ranges spotted quail-thrush, the Capricorn yellow chat, the swift parrot, the helmeted honeyeater, the Northern Siberian bar-tailed godwit, the Tiwi Islands hooded robin, the orange-bellied parrot, the eastern curlew, the plains-wanderer, the western ground parrot, the Round Island petrel and the herald petrel.

The frogs that are critically endangered: the armoured mistfrog, the mountain mistfrog, the southern corroboree frog, the northern corroboree frog and the kroombit tinker frog.

Then there are the reptiles that are critically endangered: the short-nosed seasnake, the leaf-scaled seasnake, the Christmas Island blue-tailed skink, the southern snapping turtle, the Christmas Island forest skink, the Christmas Island gecko, the Nangur spiny skink, the Gulbaru gecko, the Western Swamp tortoise and the Georges' snapping turtle.

The fish that are critically endangered: the silver perch, the spotted handfish, the grey nurse shark (the east coast population), the flathead galaxias, the western trout minnow, the speartooth shark, the opal cling goby and the red handfish.

Then there are the other animals that are critically endangered: the boggomoss snail, the Campbell's helicarionid land snail, the Australian fritillary, the hairy marron, the ammonite snail, the Lord Howe Island phasmid, the Margaret River burrowing crayfish, the Dunsborough burrowing crayfish, the freshwater crayfish, the Fitzroy Falls spiny crayfish, the magnificent helicarionid land snail, the Bornemissza's stag beetle, the Glenelg freshwater mussel, the Derwent River seastar, the Gray's helicarionid land snail, the Phillip Island helicarionid land snail, the Francistown cave cricket, the Masters' charopid land snail, the arid bronze azure—which I think might be a butterfly, but I'm not sure—the Rosewood keeled snail, the Mount Lidgbird charopid land snail, the Whitelegge's land snail, the banksia montana mealybug, the Stoddart's helicarionid land snail, the golden sun moth and the Mitchell's rainforest snail.

Then moving onto the mammals that are endangered: the silver-headed antechinus; the black-tailed antechinus; the subantarctic fur seal; the blue whale; the woylie; the northern bettong; the mountain pygmy possum; the northern quoll; the spotted-tail quoll—North Queensland; the spot-tailled quoll; the eastern quoll; the southern right whale; the Arnhem leaf-nosed bat; the southern brown bandicoot—eastern; the mala; the Bramble Cay melomys; the black-footed tree rat—Kimberley and mainland Northern Territory; the numbat; the bridled nail-tail wallaby; the dibbler; the western barred bandicoot—Shark Bay; the eastern barred bandicoot—the mainland version; the mahogany glider; the Cape York rock-wallaby; the nabarlek from the Top End—and that was No. 100 of these species; the nabarlek from the Kimberley; the black-flanked rock-wallaby; the Proserpine rock-wallaby; the long-footed potoroo; the smoky mouse; the Hastings River mouse; the heath mouse; the Tasmanian devil; the Kangaroo Island dunnart; the Sandhill dunnart; the Kangaroo Island echidna; and the Carpentarian rock-rat.

The birds that are endangered: the King Island brown thornbill; the Christmas Island goshawk; the Bulloo grey grasswren; the Carpentarian grasswren; the Gawler Ranges short-tailed grasswren; the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle; the noisy scrub-bird; the rufous scrub-bird; the Australasian bittern; the red knot; the red-tailed black-cockatoo—south-eastern; the Baudin's cockatoo; the glossy black-cockatoo from Kangaroo Island; the Carnaby's black-cockatoo; the southern cassowary; the Tasmanian azure kingfisher; the Christmas Island emerald dove; the lesser sand plover; the Norfolk Island green parrot; the Coxen's fig-parrot; the eastern bristlebird; the western bristlebird; the Amsterdam albatross; the Tristan albatross; the northern royal albatross; the Alligator Rivers yellow chat; the Gouldian finch; the Christmas Island frigatebird; the chestnut-rumped heathwren from the Mount Lofty Ranges; the buff-banded rail from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands; the Lord Howe woodhen; the southern giant petrel; the purple-crowned fairy-wren—western; the black-eared miner; the crimson finch—white-bellied; the star finch—eastern; the Norfolk Island boobook; the Abbott's booby; the forty-spotted pardalote; the night parrot; the Christmas Island white-tailed tropicbird; the southern black-throated finch; the golden-shouldered parrot; the western heath western whipbird; the Gould's petrel; the Australian painted snipe; the New Zealand Antarctic tern; the Fleurieu Peninsula southern emu-wren; the mallee emu-wren; the grey-headed albatross; the Chatham albatross; the Christmas Island thrush; the buff-breasted button-quail; and the Tiwi masked owl.

Moving to the frogs that are endangered: the white-bellied frog; the booroolong frog; the yellow-spotted tree frog; the Australian lace-lid; the Kuranda tree frog; the waterfall frog; the common mistfrog; the spotted tree frog; the Fleay's frog—I'm only up to No. 165, and I've only got half a minute to do, so I'm not going to get to the end of the 448 threatened and endangered Australian animals. I apologise to those I left out. They are just as significant, just as threatened and just as important as the others. Take them as read, and, please, all Australians, I call on you to take action to end this extinction crisis. A great way to start is to vote Greens and to vote out this mob at the next election, as soon as possible.

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