Government's threatened species plan 'last chance to get it right'
The Federal Government is being urged to massively expand efforts to save native plants and animals from extinction, as it develops a decade-long plan for threatened species. Environment Minister Sussan Ley says technological innovation will be key, especially when it comes to controlling feral pests and predators. She also says many lessons have been learnt from the summer bushfires, which killed an estimated three billion animals. Listen here.
Impact of 2019–2020 mega-fires on Australian fauna habitat
Australia’s 2019–2020 mega-fires were exacerbated by drought, anthropogenic climate change and existing land-use management. Here, using a combination of remotely sensed data and species distribution models, we found these fires burnt ~97,000 km2 of vegetation across southern and eastern Australia, which is considered habitat for 832 species of native vertebrate fauna. Seventy taxa had a substantial proportion (>30%) of habitat impacted; 21 of these were already listed as thr
Recent Australian wildfires made worse by logging and associated forest management
The recent fires in southern Australia were unprecedented in scale and severity. Much commentary has rightly focused on the role of climate change in exacerbating the risk of fire. Here, we contend that policy makers must recognize that historical and contemporary logging of forests has had profound effects on these fires’ severity and frequency. Read more here.
Renewable energy production will exacerbate mining threats to biodiversity
Renewable energy production is necessary to halt climate change and reverse associated biodiversity losses. However, generating the required technologies and infrastructure will drive an increase in the production of many metals, creating new mining threats for biodiversity. Here, we map mining areas and assess their spatial coincidence with biodiversity conservation sites and priorities. Mining potentially influences 50 million km2 of Earth’s land surface, with 8% coinciding
Mining needed for renewable energy 'could harm biodiversity'
Study warns sites must be protected in search for materials to build infrastructure. The mining necessary for producing renewable energy could exacerbate threats to biodiversity, researchers have found. The production of renewable energy requires metals and other materials which are mined. Researchers mapped the areas around more than 60,000 mining properties to assess whether they overlapped with biodiversity conservation sites. Read more here.
Renewable energy can save the natural world – but if we’re not careful, it will also hurt it
A vast transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is crucial to slowing climate change. But building solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable energy infrastructure requires mining for materials. If not done responsibly, this may damage species and ecosystems. Read more here.