Thursday, February 13, 2020

One Hundred and Thirteen Species Need Urgent Help

Australia has identified 113 animal species which will need "urgent help" after their numbers and habitats were devastated by the recent bushfires. 

In a welcome finding, there appeared to be no extinctions, said the government. 

But almost all species on the list had lost at least 30% of their habitat due to the mammoth blazes in the south and east over Australia's summer. 

A provisional list, released on Tuesday, narrowed a field of hundreds of fire-affected species to those needing the most urgent conservation action. It was drawn up by the government's Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel. 

The panel found some highly threatened species faced "imminent risk of extinction" because almost all of their habitat had been destroyed. These included the Pugh's mountain frog (Philoria pughi), Blue Mountains water skink (Eulamprus leuraensis) and the Kangaroo Island dunnart (Sminthopsis aitkeni).

Others, such as the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) and the smoky mouse (Pseudomys fumeus), had "substantial" sections destroyed, meaning they would need "emergency intervention" to support their recovery.

In January, Australia has pledged A$50 million (£26 million; $33 million) to wildlife and habitat recovery. Money will be spent on animal treatment, food drops and pest animal control programmes. 

Yesterday, I was at Sunway Mentari in Selangor for the KPP Toastmasters meeting. Seven Toastmasters (6 members and a visiting Toastmaster) attended this time around and it was as usual, a productive meeting. 

Besides being the Timekeeper, I took the opportunity to deliver a CC#2 titled “Lenyapnya Seorang Pemidato” – this being my project speech #872:

Again, there was much learning. After all, that's what Toastmasters are all about.

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