Tasmania has long taken the lead when it comes to conserving our threatened species, aware that the state is renowned around the world for its unique fauna and flora.
On Wednesday, thylacine hunters fronted the media on the anniversary of last known Tasmanian tiger’s death, to present what they claim is evidence that the species never died out. Whether or not their video footage is in fact proof the creature still roams our rugged wilderness remains to be seen, with experts left unconvinced.
What Tasmanians are aware of is that we don’t want history to repeat itself with the state’s other threatened or endangered species. Take, for example, the Tasmanian devil. It is just one of about 680 species listed under the Threatened Species Protection Act as endangered or at risk.
In 2008, the state’s iconic Tasmania devil was upgraded to endangered under the Act.
The devil facial tumour disease, which was discovered in North-East Tasmania in the mid-1990s, had become so prevalent that it had killed more than 90 per cent of the adult devil population in high-density areas.
Tasmanian scientists, such as Anne-Marie Pearse, worked tirelessly to find a cure, with staff at the Mount Pleasant Laboratories at the forefront.
Trowunna Wildlife Park also got on board with its conservation breeding program, through the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, which has also been supported by Betta Milk and other corporate sponsors.
The park has also been involved in other rehabilitation programs for injured birds, working alongside companies like TasNetworks to treat species like the wedge tail eagles.
TasNetworks has a Threatened Bird Mitigation Framework in operation to help minimise the impacts power lines can have on birds and has worked on design principles to reduce the risk of electrocution by installing conductor and insulator covers on its infrastructure.
Threatened Species Day also provides a timely reminder that we need to protect our flora.
On Thursday, Liberal Senator Eric Abetz announced that Tasmania would be granted $82,000 to help save the Eucalyptus morrisbyi in Southern Tasmania.
Tasmania is a unique state and our endangered or threatened species are worth fighting for. We can all do our bit to help preserve our environment.