This will sort you out.
You’re out in the bush, in a life-threatening situation. Fire. Flood. You have the opportunity to save a total stranger, or a koala.
Your choice? Before you answer..
Current global extinction rates are 1,000 times higher than the natural background rates.
Australia has the fourth-highest level of overall animal species extinction in the world, trailing only the USA, French Polynesia, and Mauritius.
The latest Red List of Threatened Species, published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, lists 40 Australian species as extinct.
A further 106 are listed as critically endangered.
We rank number one in the extinction of mammals.
30 Australian native mammal species (11%) have become extinct since European settlement.
We are responsible for 35% of global modern mammal extinctions since 1600, the highest of any country. By a country mile.
310 species of animals, including 30% of surviving mammals and 7% of lizards, as well as 1180 plant species, are listed by the Australian Government as at risk of extinction.
An estimated 4 million feral cats in Australia kill an estimated 75 million native birds, reptiles and amphibians every night.
Land clearance in NSW and Queensland accounts for an estimated 50 million mammals, reptiles, and birds, annually.
By 2050 it is projected there will be no koalas left in NSW.
The Western Australian shark cull allows trapping of protected shark species.
Also in W.A., the dingo is no longer considered native fauna.
Our environmental protection laws have failed native species.
The mantra of growth chanted by the political class and vested interests signals a national intent to fail wildlife even more successfully. Economic growth. Population growth. Accumulation of stuff. Burgeoning bathrooms.
Morbidly obese 4WDs and glandulous utes. Breeding, disposable electronica. More, newer, bigger everything. At the expense of other life.
Yes, yes. We have dominion over the earth. Of course we do. Earth is ours to subdue. Genesis 1:26. With variations on the theme similarly intoned in most other self-serving compendia of superstition, hocus pocus, and witchdoctery promoted as holy books and sacred texts.
An alternative view, as put to Gulliver by the King of Brobdingnag:
“I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth..”
The anthropocentric paradigm has reached its use-by date.
Save the koala.