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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

New Light Shed on Threatened Species

20 August 1997

New scientific information about the state of Australia's native animals and threats to their survival has led to a raft of changes to the listings of nationally threatened species.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has approved the changes to the listings following advice from the national Endangered Species Scientific Subcommittee.

Senator Hill says better information, gained from an ongoing nationwide assessment program, means the Malleefowl and five other species have been moved from the endangered category to vulnerable.

Eight species, including the White Browed Robin and Rough-scaled Python, have been removed from the listings altogether.

"In Australia there is now an ongoing, rigorous scientific evaluation of the populations and distribution of our native plants and animals, and factors which threaten their survival like predation by foxes and land degradation by feral goats and rabbits.

"From that process, species can be listed as nationally endangered or vulnerable and are then subject to increased action for their protection, guided by the Commonwealth Endangered Species Program.

"Comprehensive plans of action will be developed to aid the recovery of the Mary River Tortoise, Mountain Mistfrog, Black-striped Snake and 28 other species which have been added to Australia's list of nationally endangered species.

"Greater protection measures will also apply to the Superb Parrot, Mallee Emu-wren, Western Australian Carpet Python and 55 other species added to the list of nationally vulnerable species.

"Although the new listings are largely a result of better information rather than worsening conditions, today's announcement is an important reminder that concerted action on-the-ground is needed to conserve these and other unique Australian species.

"A substantial increase in hands-on conservation activities will be funded by the $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust, to demonstrate the Howard Government's serious commitment to achieving a more secure future for this nation's threatened species."

Senator Hill has urged more Australians to become involved by contacting their local Threatened Species Network coordinator, the Threatened Bird Network or Environment Australia toll free on 1800 803 772.

Contact: Matt Brown, Senator Hill, 06 277 7640; 0419 693 515
David Kay, Environment Australia, 06 250 0766

Commonwealth of Australia