Conservation in Australia

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Conservation in Australia is an issue of state and federal policy. Australia is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world[citation needed], with a large portion of species endemic to Australia. Preserving this wealth of biodiversity is important for future generations.

Animal habitats like reefs and forests must be preserved in order to preserve population and diversity of animal species. Conservation is vital for future study and for field research to be undertaken, and because biological richness is an unmeasurable aesthetic that may be developed into commercial recreational attractions.

According to Janine Benyus, the potential for advances in biomimicry in Australia are great because the extreme weather and conditions found here provide an excellent evolutionary incubator. Research on natural processes can only occur if habitat is preserved and organisms continue to thrive.

Federal and State governments manage protected areas and national parks; a number of non-governmental organizations are also involved in conservation.

Contents

Conservation issues

A key conservation issue is the preservation of biodiversity, especially by protecting the remaining rainforests. The destruction of habitat by human activities, including land clearing, remains the major cause of biodiversity loss in Australia. The importance of the Australian rainforests to the conservation movement is very high. Australia is the only western country to have large areas of rainforest intact[1]. Forests provide timber, drugs, and food and should be managed to maximize the possible uses. Currently, there are a number of environmental movements and campaigners advocating for action on saving the environment, one such campaign is the Big Switch.[2]

Land management issues including clearance of native vegetation, reafforestation of once-cleared areas, control of exotic weeds and pests, expansion of dryland salinity, and changed fire regimes. Intensification of resource use in sectors such as forestry, fisheries, and agriculture are widely reported to contribute to biodiversity loss in Australia. Coastal and marine environments also have reduced biodiversity from reduced water quality caused by pollution and sediments arising from human settlements and agriculture. In central New South Wales where there are large plains of grassland, problems have risen from—unusual to say—lack of land clearing.

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