AT RISK: Some scientists warn that native Australian animals, like the koala, may face extinction due to excessive logging in the coming years.
AT RISK: Some scientists warn that native Australian animals, like the koala, may face extinction due to excessive logging in the coming years. Corbis

Scientists warn of extinction

HUNDREDS of scientists have signed a declaration saying Australia's rising deforestation is putting native animals at real risk of extinction.

University of NSW professors Richard Kingsford, Martine Maron and Brendan Whittle drafted the declaration, which was endorsed by 200 senior scientists at the Society for Conservation Biology Oceania last week.

It warned Australia's land clearing rate was once again among the highest in the world, especially along the East Coast.

"Remaining forests and woodlands are critical for much of our wildlife, for the health and productivity of our lands and waters, and for the character of our nation," it stated.

"Beginning in the 1990s, governments gradually increased protection of these remaining forests and woodlands.

"However, those laws are now being wound back."

The 200 signatories made five recommendations for the Australian Government, including over-logged landscapes to be restored and recognition of all biodiversity - not just threatened species.



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