Victoria’s native species are under pressure. Too many are threatened or endangered, and the laws that are supposed to protect them aren’t working. But these laws are about to be reviewed by the Andrews government.
This is our chance to make sure the places we love and the plants and animals that live there are protected. Governments need to understand how important this is. Environment Victoria has put out a heartfelt plea to all Victorians. They want to hear our stories about threatened plants or animals we care about.
Whether it’s the beach, the bush, the mountains or a beautiful river or lake, many of our amazing native plants and animals are under threat. Victoria has around 100,000 different species. Too many of them are in trouble – 21 percent of bird species, 18 percent of mammals, 39 percent of frogs and 21 percent of plants are listed as threatened in Victoria, and are on the downhill slide towards extinction.
This is staggering. Even common species like Kookaburras, Willy wagtails and River Red Gums are not as common as they once were. The problem is that our plants and animals are losing their habitat. The areas that they can call home are shrinking as cities expand, logging destroys forests and agriculture becomes more intensive. And the laws that are supposed to protect them have proved powerless to stop the decline in numbers. Too many species are on the path to extinction.
Now the Andrews government is reviewing our threatened species legislation, the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act, and this is our chance to strengthen the laws so that they really do protect our native plants and animals. Environment Victoria is planning their submission, and they need our help.
Some of Environment Victoria’s member groups have great stories to tell about their efforts to rescue threatened species. Like the Friends of Merri Creek, who have been working to help the Blue-banded bee save an endangered plant!
Blue-banded bees are one of the few insects that can pollinate the endangered Matted Flax-lily. Unfortunately the bees can only fly 300m at a time. The Flax-lily populations along the Merri Creek in Fawkner and Reservoir have thinned out so much that they are too far apart for the bees to travel from one to the next.
So the Friends of Merri Creek have raised over $25,000 to establish pollination ‘stepping stones’ between the populations to help the bees reach all the Flax-lilies and keep this important endangered species going. What an amazing project!
Environment Victoria will be using these stories to illustrate their submission – have you got one to share?
In 2017, we have a great chance to improve protections for our threatened species and make sure our natural environment stays healthy. So before the year wraps up, why not share a story about a plant or animal that’s important to you?