National Threatened Species Day is on the 7th September, and marks the passing of the last known thylacine in captivity. Eighty years on and we are still fighting a battle against extinction for a growing number of species. In the last year alone, several species that call Tasmania home for at least part of the year were up-listed to a higher category of extinction risk – including a number of migratory shorebird species as well as Swift Parrots.
Tasmania boasts a stunning array of species and vegetation communities – from tiny mosses in the region’s alpine zones to giant humpback whales off the coast. However, many of these species and communities are under threat and in some cases, Tasmania is seen as a ‘last refuge’ for many plants and animals. More than 600 species of Tasmania’s plants and animals are listed as rare, vulnerable or endangered, including iconic species such as the Tasmanian devil, Orange-bellied Parrot, kings lomatia and Wedge-tailed Eagle.
NRM South works on or supports dozens of projects across the Southern Tasmanian region, using a variety of approaches to reach a common goal; the protection and conservation of places, species and vegetation communities of national and regional significance. Much of the work being done to protect threatened species and communities is in the form of on-ground activities—particularly surveys, monitoring, awareness-raising and weed control work. Teams of volunteers and researchers invest hundreds of hours every year, surveying sites for the presence of rare and threatened species, tackling invasive weed species, restoring habitat, removing rubbish, getting important conservation messages to the broader community and keeping an eye out for signs of emerging threats.
We can all play a part in ensuring our unique, diverse and beautiful species have a place they can always call home – from lending a hand to volunteer community projects, picking up litter off the beach, reducing consumption and waste at home or in the office, or even just dedicating a little space on our properties for native plants and wildlife.
Image Credits: Els Wakefield, Eric Wohler, Chris Tzaros