According to scientists, 19 Australian ecosystems are collapsing and action is needed more desperately than ever.
We can already feel David Attenborough’s disappointment from here. In a report from Global Change Biology, 38 scientists from multiple universities across Australia and Antarctica have found that 19 ecosystems that are about to collapse due to human impact.
Carbon dioxide pollution, deforestation, and other changes inland are noted as the main causes – actions that can be stopped or limited with proper education. The report lists off the degradation of coral reefs, arid outback deserts, tropical savanna, the waterways of the Murray-Darling Basin, mangroves in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and forests stretching from the rainforests of the far north to Gondwana-era conifers in Tasmania as key affected areas.
Collapse, defined via The Conversation, is “the state where ecosystems have changed in a substantial, negative way from their original state – such as species or habitat loss, or reduced vegetation or coral cover – and are unlikely to recover.”
The study, which used measured data and observations, found that not all of the ecosystems studied were in a state of collapse – an encouraging finding. However, in particular, the findings of the Murray-Darling Basin – the source of 30% of Australia’s food source – is a worrying factor. A wake-up call, in fact, that this generation has the power to make changes for the generations to come.
Sometimes I get tempted to turn away from this struggle. Then I read something like this and I know that everyone who comes after us will envy that we were here at this turning point with the chance to fight and I can't dishonour that
— Georgina Woods (@georgefwoods) February 26, 2021
So, what’s next and what can we do to stop the collapsing of vital ecosystems? Scientists say that fire protection and preparation will be key in the implementation of saving ecosystems under threat. A plan has been put in place by the scientists in the report, called “3 As.” This includes; awareness – being aware of what’s going on around you, anticipation – what might happen in the future, and action – actively doing something about it.
Data suggests that Australia has the highest mammal extinction rate, it’s now or never to save these precious animals!
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