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cancer decimating Tasmanian Devils

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posted on Sep, 27 2003 @ 11:51 PM
Cancer is apparently diminishing the population of Tasmanian Devils in their native habitat

Parks and Wildlife officer Nick Mooney said 80 per cent of devils lived in the northeast and east of the island and the cancer had ravaged that population by about 60 per cent.

We've already lost the Tasmanian Tiger, otherwise known as a thylacine. Australia has had more native species become extinct than any other country. Are we soon to lose another one?

posted on Sep, 27 2003 @ 11:55 PM

Originally posted by mulberryblueshimmer
Australia has had more native species become extinct than any other country.

I always thought the Tasmanian Devil was a bit too anachronistic to go on thriving, this one is no surprise. They are not the smart-ass whirlwind harbingers of destruction characters portrayed by Warner Bros cartoons.

I hate that species become extinct and it is the homo sapiens species responsible for far too much of that.

But I have to query, why doe you believe Australia has had the highest extinction rate? (In this sense - what makes you say there are more species gone, than say the South East Asian countries, or Brazil??????)

[Edited on 28-9-2003 by MaskedAvatar]

posted on Sep, 28 2003 @ 12:24 AM

I'll point you to this page

this is a study done by the Australian Wilderness Society on our biodiversity of species. It also compares us to other countries on earth for threatened species and extinction rates.

Our record on protecting this biodiversity is not good. Since European settlement, 83 species of higher plants have become extinct (ANBG 1998) - we have the worst record for higher plant extinctions of any country on Earth (Kirkpatrick 1994). We have also sent extinct 43 animal species (see Commonwealth 1998a and Bridgewater and Walker 1992). With 19 mammal extinctions (Commonwealth 1998a) we have the worst record of mammal extinctions on Earth - more than any other country (Commonwealth 1996b) or continent (Burbidge 1995). We have also sent 21 species of birds (Commonwealth 1998a) and 3 frogs (Bridgewater and Walker 1992) extinct. In total, we have sent 126 species of plants and animals out of existence in just 200 years.
Further, according to the Commonwealth (1998a) we have 1072 nationally threatened vascular plants (or 6.8% of our vascular plants), and 219 threatened non-fish vertebrates (11% of our non-fish vertebrate species, or 0.9% of the world's total non-fish vertebrate species). Australia has 54 threatened mammals (20%, or one fifth, of our mammals), 98 threatened birds (13% of our birds), 52 threatened reptiles (6.5% of our reptiles) and 15 threatened amphibians (7% of our amphibians). We also have 21 threatened fish, 3 threatened invertebrates, and 1 threatened non-vascular plant, for a total of 1316 nationally threatened species, according to the Commonwealth (1998a). According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals (1996), we rank fifth in the world for total numbers of threatened non-fish vertebrates - we have more threatened non-fish vertebrate species than 98% of the world's countries. We also have more threatened reptile and amphibian species than any other country on Earth (IUCN 1996).

posted on Sep, 28 2003 @ 04:39 AM
Yep, I thought when you limited it to mammals, that Australia could well be winning the War On Mammals and extinguishing more species than any other.

40,000 years alongside man in the great southern land, unique marsupial species abound.

200 years of idiot colonising, it's all over for 19 species of mammals.

Not a good national record!

Thanks for the interesting figures, mulberry-entity.

posted on Sep, 28 2003 @ 01:41 PM
its a shame that these little critters may become extinct

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