|
|
|
|
Search: 
Latin American Herald Tribune
Venezuela Overview
Venezuelan Embassies & Consulates Around The World
Sites/Blogs about Venezuela
Venezuelan Newspapers
Facts about Venezuela
Venezuela Tourism
Embassies in Caracas

Colombia Overview
Colombian Embassies & Consulates Around the World
Government Links
Embassies in Bogota
Media
Sites/Blogs about Colombia
Educational Institutions

Stocks

Commodities
Crude Oil
US Gasoline Prices
Natural Gas
Gold
Silver
Copper

Euro
UK Pound
Australia Dollar
Canada Dollar
Brazil Real
Mexico Peso
India Rupee

Antigua & Barbuda
Aruba
Barbados
Cayman Islands
Cuba
Curacao
Dominica

Grenada
Haiti
Jamaica
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Belize
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Honduras
Nicaragua
Panama

Bahamas
Bermuda
Mexico

Argentina
Brazil
Chile
Guyana
Paraguay
Peru
Uruguay

What's New at LAHT?
Follow Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Most Viewed on the Web
Popular on Twitter
Receive Our Daily Headlines


  HOME | Science, Nature & Technology

Australia’s Northern Bettong Marsupial Faces Threat of Extinction

SYDNEY – The Australian northern bettong could soon disappear unless drastic measures are taken, the World Wide Fund for Nature warned on Wednesday.

“It’s not too late for the northern bettong, but our window of opportunity for action is closing fast,” Tim Cronin, WWF Australia’s senior manager for species conservation, said in a statement.

The northern bettong is a slow-moving hare-sized marsupial known as the rat kangaroo. It currently occupies just 145 square kilometers in two areas of Queensland’s Wet Tropics, a far cry from the 1,000-kilometer stretch they occupied at the beginning of the European colonization of Australia.

“But just one population is known to be stable,” said the statement on a WWF-led Northern Bettong Project report published after a five-year investigation.

It is estimated that the habitat of these marsupials has decreased by about 70 percent in the last three decades and that only an area called the Lamb Range, southwest of Cairns, seems to retain a relatively strong population.

“The good news is that the tropical bettong is stable in their core habitat,” added Dr. Sandra Abell, who managed the scientific project which suggested that the Lamb Range population could disappear in 10 years if no action is taken.

Abell warned that “actual numbers are likely to be at most 2,500, which is much lower than the 5,000-10,000 estimated in their original ‘endangered’ status listing on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List.”

According to the study, the northern bettong has a “crucial and irreplaceable role in the ecosystem.”

The absence of the northern bettong would result in a reduction of truffle diversity, and possible damage to the diversity of the trees and the ecosystem in general, said the report, to which James Cook University, and the Queensland and Australian governments also contributed.

Threats to the stability of the marsupial’s population abound. Feral cats were detected at 40% of 11 key areas surveyed in the Wet Tropics, and cattle and feral pigs at 80% of areas. Cats prey on bettongs, while pigs and cattle compete with them for food and alter the habitat.

The loss of indigenous fire control programs, which helped maintain the health of the forests, could also have an impact on the species.

“To make matters worse, climate change is likely to further alter their habitat, affect seasonal food availability, and exacerbate existing threats from fire and feral predators,” said WWF.

Cronin added: “We must protect our remaining bettongs by conserving and restoring woodlands, controlling pests, and using recommended fire management to maintain and enhance their habitat.”

 

Enter your email address to subscribe to free headlines (and great cartoons so every email has a happy ending!) from the Latin American Herald Tribune:

 

Copyright Latin American Herald Tribune - 2005-2018 © All rights reserved