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Environment, Government Federal

“Uncuddlies” need love too this World Environment Day

Conservation Volunteers Australia 4 mins read

EMBARGOED (12:01AM) MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday 5 June 2024

 “Uncuddlies” need love too this World Environment Day

Australia’s “uncuddlies” like reptiles, fish and insects are driving the rapid growth in threatened species, with the nation encouraged to show them some love this World Environment Day.

That goes for governments too, according to the latest Australia en Danger report from Conservation Volunteers Australia with public affairs analysts Provocate®.

CVA Executive Manager of Policy and Government Relations, Stephen McDonald, said threatened “uncuddlies” like reptiles, fish and insect species grew twice the average rate of threatened animals overall (16%) the past two years.

“Critically-endangered reptiles and fish – the last step before extinction – have also doubled (136%) and tripled (178%) since the Albanese Government launched its Federal threatened species action plan,” Mr McDonald said.

“Our politicians love to be seen cuddling a koala to make a point on days like World Environment Day.

“Whilst it may not be desirable – or safe – to snuggle up to a snake, skink or snail, our findings show the nation’s threatened uncuddlies still need our love and a helping hand to survive.

"Particularly in our urban areas, where nearly half our threatened species now live. This can be a simple as a one-by-one metre block in your backyard or balcony.

“Community action at scale is still critical to ensure these threatened species don’t slip out of our hands altogether.”  

Mr McDonald encouraged Australians to visit www.conservationvolunteers.com.au to sign up for nature repair and resilience events across the country, download CVA’s community app, or to donate.  

“Especially since Australia’s lost tens of thousands of conservation volunteers and tens of millions of dollars due to Federal funding cuts over the same period our threatened species numbers are skyrocketing,” Mr McDonald.

“This includes the Albanese Government axing the nation’s mud army for wildlife and their habitat, despite many of these threatened species being linked to the Black Summer Bushfires.”

In less-than two years since the Federal Albanese Labor Government launched its Threatened Species Action Plan (October 2022):

  • Threatened reptiles (+35%; +23), fish (+30%; +19) and invertebrates (+39%; +28) all grew at twice the average net increase in threatened animal species overall (+16%; +92).
  • This is 26, 13 and 9 times the average growth under the previous Coalition government’s nine years in office.  
  • This is compared to +0% (+0) in mammals, +9% (+16) in birds and +14% (+6%).
  • While numbers of critically-endangered fish and reptiles have nearly-tripled (+178%) and more-than doubled (+136%) respectively, compared to +46% overall. This is the last step before extinction in the wild.
  • Despite this, there has been no increase in the number of ‘priority’ threatened species classifications under the Threatened Species Action Plan, which are key to accessing government grant funding.
  • Of the Action Plan’s current 110 ‘priority’ species, there’s also only 11 reptiles, 11 invertebrates and 9 fish.  
  • Nor were there any no new plans or ‘Saving Native Species’ funding announced in the Federal Government’s 2024-25 Federal Budget, which also confirmed the Albanese Government’s $90 million Landcare Rangers election commitment had been quietly shelved.  
  • These severe increases in threatened species also coincide with the Albanese Government axing the nation’s marine litter and environmental disaster volunteering programs, managed by Conservation Volunteers Australia, which had 25,000+ volunteers signed up between them, and no replacement.
  • While the Albanese Government has also shelved its proposed reform of conservation laws.

Key Facts:

In less-than two years since the Federal Albanese Labor Government launched its Threatened Species Action Plan (October 2022):

  • Threatened reptiles (+35%; +23), fish (+30%; +19) and invertebrates (+39%; +28) all grew at twice the average net increase in threatened animal species overall (+16%; +92).
  • This is 26, 13 and 9 times the average growth under the previous Coalition government’s nine years in office.  
  • This is compared to +0% (+0) in mammals, +9% (+16) in birds and +14% (+6%).
  • While numbers of critically-endangered fish and reptiles have nearly-tripled (+178%) and more-than doubled (+136%) respectively, compared to +46% overall. This is the last step before extinction in the wild.
  • Despite this, there has been no increase in the number of ‘priority’ threatened species classifications under the Threatened Species Action Plan, which are key to accessing government grant funding.
  • Of the Action Plan’s current 110 ‘priority’ species, there’s also only 11 reptiles, 11 invertebrates and 9 fish.  

About us:

COMPANY BIO: Conservation Volunteers Australia has been the nation’s leading nature volunteer representative organisation for everyday Australians the past 40 years. CVA’s core purpose is to reconnect Australians with nature through meaningful volunteering in urban and regional centres across the country, while making real contributions to national conservation efforts, enhancing the physical and mental well-being of communities, and promoting practical connections to our unique natural heritage.

COMPANY BIO: Provocate® has rapidly established itself as one of Asia-Pacific’s top public affairs analytics firms – and most-awarded in its origin country of Australia. This includes being ranking in the Top 75 Global Innovators for communications two years in a row (2022 and 2023); APAC’s best research, insights and impact measurement the past two years (2022 and 2023); and ANZ’s top public relations – and thought leadership - campaigns for 2023. These achievements are reflective of Provocate®’s dedication to insight-informed impact via our exclusive Electionomics™ suite of services supporting global, large and listed organisations operating in highly-regulated markets to mutually benefit companies, communities and countries alike.


Contact details:

Stephen McDonald, Executive Manager, Policy & Government Relations, Conservation Volunteers Australia, 0458 700 006 smcdonald@cva.org.au

 

Troy Bilsborough, Managing Director, Provocate®, 0427 063 150 or troy.bilsborough@provocate.com.au

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