I get pessimistic about the sorts of biodiversity conservation concerns I hold strongly. I felt sad this week when I read of a couple of drunken Western Force rugby players being convicted of ‘hammer-throwing’ endangered Quokkas on Rottnest Island near Perth. The Quokkas are a macropod that basically survives on two offshore islands that are free from foxes – but not humans. One of the footballers was fined $11,000.
The Quokkas are friendly animals that show no fear of humans – they would have been an easy target for these morons.
Earlier this year I posted on the lack of biodiversity conservation effort on Macquarie Island – the island, a World Heritage area about halfway between Australia and Antarctica, is home to 3.5 million seabirds and 80,000 elephant seals and is one of the few breeding sites in the Pacific section of the Southern Ocean. The Age today includes an article and an editorial on the urgency of this issue. Essentially feral cats were wiped out on the island on 2002/03 leading to an explosion of rabbit and rat numbers. Subsequent disputes between Tasmanian and Commonwealth Governments over who would foot the repair bill have led to nothing being done. The Age article provides a devastating picture of destruction on this great wilderness area. It concludes:
The feral destruction of the island’s native vegetation is akin to Ayers Rock being taken over by 100,000 clowns with jackhammers or the Great Barrier Reef being used as torpedo practice.