Rare and mysterious sharks, skates and a sawfish, Murray Darling Basin ecosystems that had protections cancelled by the Abbott Government in 2013, and the distressing increase of wombat mange are among the eleven nominations made by Humane Society International (HSI) in response to the Federal Government's annual call for national environment law submissions.
The nominations were prepared as part of HSI's long-standing threatened species and habitat protection program, which seeks to make the protection of Australia's nature as comprehensive and effective as possible.
The nominations submitted by HSI last week are:
- Grey Skate (Dipturus canutus)
- Whitefin Swellshark (Cephaloscyllium albipinnum)
- Australian Longnose Skate (Dentiraja confusus)
- Narrow Sawfish (Anoxyprisits cuspidata)
Threatened Ecological Communities:
- Murragamba Sands Woodland in the Sydney Basin Bioregion
- Wetlands and inner floodplains of the Macquarie Marshes
- Kwongkan shrubland thickets of Western Australia's Avon Wheatbelt
- Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub of the Sydney Region
- Lower Murray River and associated wetlands, floodplains and groundwater systems from the junction of the Darling River to the sea
Key Threatening Processes:
- The impact of sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabei) on Lasiorhinus spp. (wombats)
- Alteration to the natural flow regimes of watercourses and their floodplains and wetlands
These submissions will be reviewed by the independent Threatened Species Scientific Committee, which will make recommendations to the Federal Environment Minister about what matters should be added to the assessment list this year – a key step to having them enshrined in law.
"HSI is continuing apace with our successful nomination program which aims to make existing and future laws work as comprehensively as possible,” said Evan Quartermain, HSI's Head of Programs.
"Having threatened species, habitats, and the processes that affect them recognised in law is heavily reliant on public nominations, and for more than 20 years HSI has been getting on with the job.
"In recent years we have sadly seen political interference in threatened species and habitat listing and assessment processes. This does Australia a disservice – threat status is a purely scientific question, and ignoring the facts puts nature and all of us that rely on it at risk. HSI sincerely hopes that whoever is Environment Minister at the time these assessments are prioritised takes this into full account,” he concluded.
HSI's long-running threatened species and habitat nomination program has resulted in the listings of 73 threatened species and more than one third of the habitats protected as Matters of National Environmental Significance in Australia. It operates in conjunction with our efforts with the Places You Love alliance to deliver new and improved nature laws that properly address the extinction crisis and remove political interference from scientific decision making.
Image: Kelvin Aitken / VWPics / Alamy Stock Photo
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