An alien invasion of the environmental kind
Invasive species are bad news for biodiversity – and a major new report has found they are a leading cause of species loss and extinction in Australia. The report by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (get that on your business card…) identified 37,000 alien species that were introduced to new areas through human activities. Of those, 3,500 species are considered invasive, and we’ve got 3,000 of ’em costing us $25 billion every year… Feral cats, European carp, and rabbits pose the biggest problems, researchers said. Last year, a new national biosecurity strategy was launched with the aim of ‘no new extinctions’. But in light of the latest findings, experts are calling for more funding and an independent body to wrangle the states and territories. Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek didn’t commit to that but said it’s a big issue on her radar.
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