WWF said budget should boost national parks to save species
THE Federal Government is being lobbied to enlarge national parks in northern New South Wales and create new ones to help save an Aussie icon - the koala.
The World Wide Fund wants next week's Federal Budget to include funding for more national park land to protect the critical habitats of threatened wildlife such as the koala and tiger quoll.
As part of its push, WWF-Australia has produced a map showing areas where expanded or new national parks would significantly improve the chances of survival of some of the nation's most iconic threatened wildlife.
Wildlife are already on the move as the world warms and weather becomes more extreme, according to WWF-Australia.
WWF conservation scientist Dr Martin Taylor, who created the map, said both koala and tiger quoll populations were declining in NSW because of the destruction of their habitats.
The tiger quoll is the largest surviving Australian mainland marsupial carnivore and critical to natural food chain functioning.
Dr Taylor said bushland was being bulldozed at an alarming rate and hastening the potential extinction of several endangered species.
"The best way to save threatened wildlife is to protect their bushland homes,” Dr Taylor said.
Dr Taylor's map was based on University of Queensland and WWF research which maps current and future safe havens for wildlife, taking global warming into account.
"Endangered wildlife needs a place to call home, and one that will be safe for them even with climate change,” Dr Taylor said.
"The parks that protect iconic wildlife are the backbone of northern NSW's growing nature tourism industry.
"The Federal Government must revive investment in new parks and make northern NSW a priority.”