The species is aptly named, as it is found in a protected pocket close to the Victorian town of Stuart Mill, in the John Colahan Griffin reserve about halfway between Bendigo and the Grampians/Gariwerd. With its conservation status of much concern, the population of these species has dwindled due to significant habitat loss.
How big is the problem of invasive species? In the words of Deakin University’s Professor Euan Ritchie, ‘the short answer is: it’s massive’. Invasive genes and species are one of the biggest environmental problems facing Australia and the number one cause of native species extinctions. They also cause immense economic and cultural damage; since the 1960s, Australia has variously spent and incurred losses amounting to $390 billion due to invasive species.
This report and position paper from the Royal Society of Victoria (RSV) addresses the conservation and recovery of Australia’s unique biodiversity, particularly in the State of Victoria. It summarises the current state of reviews, responses and policies in Victoria in the broader Australian and global context, with recommendations for action.
The fate of the thylacine was not an isolated incident in Australia’s recent history – rather, it represents a story repeated so often that it lacks the shocking impact it should have. To compare with a different story that regularly draws greater national focus: every 4 years Australia has sent athletes to compete at the Olympic Games, while every 2.34 years Australia has completely removed another species from existence.
Knowledge holders and leaders from across Victoria, including Traditional Owners, gathered at the Royal Society of Victoria to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Victoria in biodiversity conservation and recovery, considering the urgent need to establish an independent Taskforce. RSV President Rob Gell framed the biodiversity crisis as “everyone’s problem.”