Threatened Species Day on 7 September is a timely reminder of the opportunities to bring threatened species back from the brink of extinction and what continued species loss means.
Natural Resources South Australian Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB) ecologist Chris Hedger said the region is home to more than 2000 plants and more than 450 animals.
“Unfortunately many of these species are under threat,” Mr Hedger said.
“Natural Resources SAMDB, and other regions, are working to preserve and protect our natural environment and native species by restoring habitat, tackling invasive threats, building populations and creating safe refuges for native animals and plants that need support.
“We work closely with farmers to protect and provide habitat for threatened species on farmland and also within conservation parks.
“The environment requires a variety of native species to live together in our landscape, as they need each other to function and survive - once they become extinct, they are gone forever.”
The SAMDB region has a number of animals and plants listed in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, such as the black-eared miner (Manorina melanotis), classed as vulnerable; the Southern bell frog (Litoria raniformis), regent parrot (Polytelis anthopeplus monarchoides) and metallic sun-orchid (Thelymitra epipactoides).
“Natural Resources SAMDB is assisting the community-led regent parrot recovery team to investigate movement patterns of the species,” Mr Hedger said.
“This will help us better understand the species and help inform best-practice recovery actions.”
Mr Hedger said there are various threats to our native species such as habitat loss, invasive species competing for food and habitat, predators, human impacts and climate change.
“Populations of two nationally endangered plants, the metallic sun-orchid and the Monarto mintbush (Prostanthera eurybioides), were given a significant boost recently with more than 80 metallic sun-orchids and 850 Monarto mintbush being planted,” he said.
“Seeds of the metallic sun-orchid were collected in 2013 and grown in partnership with the Orchid Recovery Group at the Botanic Gardens Victoria - a great example of what can be achieved if we all work together. “
“Natural Resources SAMDB is also working with the Country Fire Service to develop Bushfire Management Plans which incorporate threatened species details to help reduce the threat of fire impacting the region’s threatened species.
There are a number of ways landholders can help support threatened species, such as:
- designate a parcel of land as a wildlife refuge
- control total grazing pressure by reducing rabbits and goats
- control pest plants
- plant some native plants or grasses
- join a monitoring group or conservation organisation.