Scientists and politicians gather in Melbourne, Australia, today to discuss the country’s threatened plants and animals that conservationists say are in more danger than ever.
The warning comes as scientist warn even Australia’s iconic bird, the Kookaburra is at risk of being driven to extinction.
Birdlife Australia says there are dwindling numbers of common birds, such as the willy wagtail, kookaburra and magpie-lark.
“We’ve known for some time that many rare bird populations are declining, but we were not aware of the decline of these very common and iconic Australian birds,” Birdlife Australia chief executive Paul Sullivan said in a statement on Wednesday
The National Threatened Species Summit will bring together state and territory ministers, business leaders, scientific and conservation management experts, non-government organisations and others active in threatened species conservation to canvas solutions to the problem.
The WWF says a dramatic increase in government spending on conservation projects is needed if the trend in threatened species is to be reversed.
“The Threatened Species Summit is an opportunity to explore solutions and discuss practical ways to halt Australia’s wildlife crisis at a time when our threatened species are under more pressure than ever before,” WWF-Australia species manager Darren Grover told SBS news.
Grover noted that no species has ever been removed from the Australian government’s threatened species list through its recovery actions but many have been added.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.