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29 May 2009 - Immediate action required to rescue the Christmas Island pipistrelle      

Immediate action required to rescue the Christmas Island Pipistrelle

29 May 2009

Environment groups have today joined forces calling for urgent Government action to save the Christmas Island Pipistrelle from extinction, by supporting the plan put forward by the Australasian Bat Society. Recent surveys have shown that there may be less than 20 animals remaining in the wild.

“The Christmas Island Pipistrelle is facing imminent extinction if the Government fails to take action. We are therefore calling on Australia’s Federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett to rectify months of inaction and urgently establish a captive breeding program”, said Alexia Wellbelove from Humane Society International.

“Whilst we would prefer conservation action to take place in the wild, months of Government delay means that regrettably there is now little choice but to take the remaining individuals into captivity to ensure the future of the species” said Alec Marr of The Wilderness Society.

Failure by the Government to adopt the proposed plan will result in Australia’s first mammal extinction in 53 years.                    

Humane Society International concentrates on the preservation of endangered animals and ecosystems and works to ensure quality of life for all animals, both domestic and wild. HSI is the largest animal protection not-for-profit organisation in the world, with over 10 million supporters globally and has been established in Australia since 1994.

The Wilderness Society is a national, community-based, environmental advocacy organisation whose purpose is to protect, promote and restore wilderness and natural processes across Australia for the survival and ongoing evolution of life on Earth.  It was formed in 1976 to work on the Lake Pedder and Franklin River campaigns.

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