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Looking after the "uncuddlies"

Western Plains App

Kristin Murdock

09 June 2024, 7:40 AM

Looking after the "uncuddlies"A screenshot from inaturalist.ala.org.au where you can check out sightings of local "uncuddlies".

Wednesday 5 June was World Environment Day.

 

Every year, World Environment Day is observed to raise awareness about climate change, global warming, deforestation and loss of biodiversity.

 

In 2024, we are being encouraged to appreciate the "uncuddlies" - like reptiles, fish and insects - who are at twice the risk of more 'popular' species.


 

Australia is blessed with a vast and unique fauna population and the Western Plains is no exception.


An interesting website to check out is inaturalist.ala.org.au where citizen scientists record sightings of different native species.


There are many sightings across our regional area.

 

Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) said the decline in "uncuddlies" such as reptiles, fish and insect species grew at twice the average rate of threatened animals overall (16%) in the past two years.


Time for the KOALA WAR to end - Australian Koala Foundation

The political wrangling over koala habitat has been dubbed 'the koala wars'. IMAGE: Australian Koala Foundation

 

He said that while politicians love a photo opportunity such as cuddling a koala, community action is critical to protect threatened species.

 

“Community action at scale is still critical to ensure these threatened species don’t slip out of our hands altogether,” he said. “Especially since Australia’s lost tens of thousands of conservation volunteers and tens of millions of dollars due to Federal funding cuts over the same period our threatened species numbers are skyrocketing.”

 

“This includes the Government axing the nation’s mud army for wildlife and their habitat, despite many of these threatened species being linked to the Black Summer Bushfires.”

 

The Governments Threatened Species Action Plan has 110 ‘priority’ species, but there is also only 11 reptiles, 11 invertebrates and 9 fish.


IMAGE: NT News

 

Charity, Animals Australia also urge us to care for all of the environment, regardless of cuteness factor.

 

"Cuteness’ is subjective – but have you ever considered the impact our biases have on our compassion? Or the level of conservation effort an animal receives?


By rethinking ‘cute’ and admiring all animal species for their unique and special qualities, we can widen our circle of compassion and shape a better tomorrow for everyone.

 

When it comes to animals more popular amongst the masses, wide-eyed marsupials and mammals tend to overshadow those with scales, wings, or wonderful weirdness we just aren’t used to seeing.


But quirky animals live here too – and like all wildlife, they’re deserving of our respect and in need of our help."