Monday 07 September 2020

Threatened species - their future is in our hands


The last thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, died in captivity on 7 September 1936. Sixty years later, that date was chosen as Australia’s National Threatened Species Day. This is a day when Australians are encouraged to think about the tragedy of losing a species forever – whether it be a plant or an animal – and increase our efforts to take action to avoid further losses.
 
Several cetaceans are on the threatened species watch-list in Australia.
 
Listed as endangered are the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and pygmy blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda)
southern right whale (Eubalaena australis)
 
Listed as Vulnerable are the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeanglia), sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) the Australian humpback dolphin (Sousa sahulensis) the Australian snubfin dolphin (Orcaella heinsohni).
 
There are concerns about other cetaceans found in Australian waters, such as the pygmy right whale (Caperea marginata) but insufficient data is available to make a firm assessment.
 
Cetaceans face increasing threats from climate change, habitat degradation, marine pollution, ship-strike, entanglement in active and discarded fishing gear, shark control nets and drumlines, ocean noise and intense tourism.
 
Shark control programs also kill other endangered and vulnerable and creatures, from marine turtles to protected shark species including the grey nurse shark (Carcharias Taurus) and the white shark (Carcharodon Carcharias).
 
Fittingly, September is also recognised as Biodiversity Month. Critical to the survival of species, biodiversity - sometimes referred to as ‘the web of life’ - is the intricate relationship between living things and their ecosystems, and the wider relationships between ecosystems, that sustain the complexity and wonder of life on earth.


AWCS

Dedicated to

cetacean

conservation,

education and

research