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WWF Australia Day Report by Martin Taylor


Here's some really good science that supports the gut instinct that has driven us all to campaign for National Parks for the last few decades..........

New Report from Martin Taylor et al as per WWF Aust Day message and picked up from SE Forest Rescue Group circulated by SERCA (SE Region Conservation Alliance, NSW based)

"The pivotal role of national parks in saving Australian wildlife has been highlighted in a ground-breaking new study by WWF and researchers from The University of Queensland. The study What works for threatened species recovery? An empirical evaluation for Australia is published in the international science journal Biodiversity and Conservation...........

Dr Martin Taylor, WWF's protected areas scientist, co-authored the report along with Paul Sattler, former chief planner for Queensland Parks Service and University of Queensland researchers Professor Hugh Possingham, Dr Richard Fuller, Dr James Watson and Ms Megan Evans.

"There has been growing skepticism about the value of national parks for biodiversity. This is one of the few papers in the world to show that national parks really deliver outcomes," said Professor Possingham, leader of the University of Queensland team.

Of the alternate conservation activities examined in the study - including less secure forms of protected areas, number of natural resource management activities and even the number of threatened species recovery actions applied - none were significantly linked to stable or increasing populations of threatened species.

"Such activities could have a beneficial impact into the future but there was no sign of it in this study except for national parks," said Dr Taylor.

The study suggests land-clearing laws are also important. The three states with the highest levels of land clearing - Queensland, NSW and Tasmania - also had the most threatened species in decline.

"The message is clear. If you want a sure bet to save endangered species, secure their habitat and put it in a national park, or stop habitat destruction through legislation. Anything else is risky," Dr Taylor said.

"Governments may be tempted to slash parks budgets in hard times. This research shows that this would be a short-sighted mistake. National parks are not only critical tools for saving our threatened wildlife but also bring in over $19 billion in foreign exchange from tourists every year.

"Parks don't just make good ecological sense, they also make good economic sense." The Australian Government has promised to increase protected areas 25 per cent by 2013. Dr Taylor said increased levels of investment by all levels of government was needed to reach this target and to arrest the alarming decline in Australia's threatened wildlife and plants".


Read his 2008 report here.


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