Gouldian Finch

Time is of the Essence

What do the following animals have in common:

Estuarine Crocodile
Loggerhead Turtle
Gulbaru Gecko
Retro Slider
Southern Cassowary
Northern Giant Petrel
Glossy Black-Cockatoo
Eclectus Parrot
Powerful Owl
Gouldian Finch
Greater Bilby
Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat
Mahogany Glider
Grey-headed Flying Fox
Humpback Whale

They are included in the 226 species, sub-species or populations of animals in Queensland that are considered threatened in the newly released book ‘Queensland’s Threatened Animals’ (CSIRO Publishing, 2012).

The definition of ‘a species listed as threatened is one that is at risk of becoming extinct in a short time frame.’

Gily Llewellyn from the WWF states in the foreword that ‘this book is a sobering reflection of the state of our natural environment.

More than 1300 native Queensland plant and animal species face extinction, with at least 30 already gone forever. We have modified almost the entire landscape, clearing forests and starving entire natural food chains. Not even our reefs or marine life have escaped unscathed from the activities of land-based development, agriculture and over-fishing.

Yet this book is also a symbol of hope.

Queenslanders have shown overwhelmingly that they want more action to save their native wildlife, with a vast majority in favour of the state government buying up new national partks and identifying and protecting threatened and native species.’

My friend Lee K. Curtis is the main editor of the book, along with Andrew Dennis, Keith McDonald, Peter Kyne and Stephen Debus. She is a freelance journalist, author and copywriter who is an active member of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland. Her enthusiasm for conservation and positive outlook are infectious.

Her goal for the book was to provide a comprehensive resource guide to ‘who was doing what, when, where, how and why with threatened animals in Queensland’. The resultant thick door stopper reference book certainly goes a long way to achieving that goal and is a significant contribution to the field. Congratulations Lee et al’, I am beyond impressed with the effort that must have gone into the creation of the book and the value of the book. I now understand why you were getting a little stressed 😉 with the project.

Recently there has been a lot of hissy fit ranting from a certain side of politics about the horrors of so-called green tape. Well, without green tape we will soon be sitting not so pretty on a barren wasteland with only Cane Toads for company.

Anyone who makes blanket negative assessments of green tape would benefit from a read of this book.

And if they don’t want to educate themselves on the pros and cons of green tape, I can think of another use for such a thick book 😉


20 thoughts on “Time is of the Essence

  1. These writers are heroic and inspiring. It’s hard to balance the knowledge of impending losses and damage to the environment with hope and action to turn the tide. It’s early spring here and already way too hot. It’s scary.

    1. Exactly Charles – I don’t understand their mentality at all, especially some developers and big companies who fight tooth and nail to undermine the green movement in order to create bigger and bigger profits.

  2. On a global scale we are one of the worst offenders… We need to make change and make it quick. A landscape of canetoads is not something I want to inhabit!

    1. Thanks Nigel. I think that the party without Bob will be less effective – I think Christine Milne will rub the Australian public up the wrong way, with her abrasive manner and judgemental way of speaking – don’t get me wrong – I think she is very passionate but given how so many people find Julia hard to take, being a strong female with a tough as nails way of speaking etc., I can just see what Christine is going to cop. Bob was such a reasonable and persuasive speaker – one of a kind, and even his opposition respected him. I think having a charasmatic leader can make all the difference to the Australian public, unfortunately – as there are few to be found – rather than the actual policies. I really think our kids need to be better educated in our system of government – how many Australians really understand how it all works eg., that the public doesn’t actually elect a leader, that the party does that! The USA may have what seems to us to be a strange system of governance but at least they learn about it at school.

  3. Too many species are threathened by the onslaught of technology and encroaching construction for expanding populations. It is a struggle to keep them safe and no one easy answer. Thought provoking post. Thank You!

    1. I agree and I fear nothing will change if ‘progress, whatever the cost’ is the goal of countries around the world. We need some radical rethinking – but people hate change and that could be the problem – humans need to adapt to this rapidly changing world and maybe we just don’t have the capacity or aren’t as smart as we seem to think we are. Positive thinking just won’t cut the mustard with these problems – we need real leadership, massive grassroots action, and an educated public who have greater faith in science rather than relying on pseudoscience (and billionaire business people with vested interests in coal and oil need to take a good hard look at their hollow victories because they will have to live on this planet along with the rest of us – though they’re the sort of people who would stuff up the world for their own gain and then escape to colonise another planet with the select few who can afford to ‘migrate’. I’m ranting now – haha – sorry Renee 🙂

  4. Good on you GB!
    Now what are we going to do to prevent Clive Palmer Getting his payback for his huge LNP donations? Newman says there will be no preferential treatment because of that but all his coal mining proposals will be fast tracked, (and stuff the farmers).
    And they are asking why they should listen to the World Heritage Commission before allowing developments on the Great Barrier Reef.
    They also want the Commonwealth to butt out of environmental approvals and leave them to… what’s that red neck’s name who was minding Newman’s seat in the last parliament? Russ Hinze on Biggest Loser!
    Sounds all a bit ‘don’t you worry about that’ to me!
    Scary stuff.

    1. It is unbelievable Stafford! The swing toward LNP will have consequences for the environment and Newman’s red and green tape cutting (except if there are cost benefits – I bet he means money costs rather than costs to the environment) will play into the hands of developers and mining companies who can’t wait to destroy great swathes of land and marine areas. Thankfully we have GetUp and the Greens to mobilise the population – getting them to care is another thing altogether – I hear it all the time – ‘bloody greenies, always getting in the way and stopping us from doing what we want’. There is a lack of balance in the debate – it shouldn’t be one or the other, but a serious consideration of each and every issue on it’s merits, plus some commonsense and room to move.

  5. I could cry for days thinking about this. Have you ever read Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road?’ It is probably the most depressing book ever written and the movie is even worse but it does highlight what the world will be like if we continue on the path we are on – the world will be a vast, grey canvas. Nothing more.

    I found my son in tears the other day. He’d been on the net reading about the potential drilling for oil in the Arctic. He was crying so much he could hardly talk. About the destruction of polar bear habitats. ‘They’re all going to die in my lifetime,’ he said. He’s nearly 16. I felt my heart shrivel and turn to a husk in my chest. What do you say to that?

    Thank God for people like Lee. You know I’m not a super-religious person, Gabe, but god bless her. God bless her!!!

    1. I haven’t read that book Selma – would probably be too depressing for me. That is so sad what your son says – when I was young I used to get upset about the reducing numbers of tigers, but in those days there were only a few threatened species – now it is just too depressing for words and what do you say – I think one of the best things to do is action and to focus on the young people – there has to be a radical shift with the next generation and there is hope – at least the younger generation will be more likely to believe the ‘facts’ instead of writing off everything scientists and greenies talk about, as if it is just a matter of opinion rather than science. Humans addiction to consumerism has put many in a state of denial that is not easilly shifted.

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