Australia is one of 17 mega-diverse countries with globally distinct levels of biodiversity and significantly more unique species than most other countries. More than 80 per cent of our mammals and 90 per cent of our trees, ferns and shrubs occur nowhere else on earth. Our distinctive plants and animals are core to our identity, culturally significant to Indigenous Australians, important to the health of our environment and a strong contributor to the economy.
Australia's native species face significant challenges with many compounding threats driving decline. Some of the main threats include invasive pests and weeds, habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as climate change and large-scale disasters, such as the 2019-20 bushfires. These bushfires had a devastating impact and the damage to Australia’s biodiversity was profound.
Development of the new Threatened Species Strategy and the first Action Plan is happening in two stages. The new Threatened Species Strategy, which provides the overarching framework for action, is being developed this year, with the first five-year Action Plan to be developed next year. The development of the new Threatened Species Strategy and Action Plan will be a consultative process, incorporating feedback from stakeholders and the community.
This discussion paper focuses on the first stage, seeking public input on priority issues to be considered in the development of the new Threatened Species Strategy.
Feedback must be received by 20 November 2020.