Australia is one of the most biologically diverse countries on the planet. 12 million square kilometres of land, separated from the rest of the planets land mass by three oceans. Our isolation and location makes us both unique and fragile.
Australia is rich in biodiversity. Australia has more than 1 million species of plants and animals. Because of our isolation many of these are found nowhere else in the world. 85% of our flowering plants, 84% of mammals, 45% of birds and 89% of inshore, freshwater fish are unique to Australia.
The ecosystem that has supported such diversity to evolve and survive, has always been harsh for human habitation. Of all the planet’s inhabited continents, Australia has the least amount of water in rivers and the smallest area of permanent wetlands. Only 6% of Australia’s landmass is suitable for growing crops. Drought, fire and flood have been constant companions for Australians. Despite this, we are home to the longest continuous culture in the world. For at least 60,000 years our species has managed to live here.
Now that we have entered the age of the Anthropocene and global warming, the world’s ecosystems are changing. Australia and its unique but fragile environment is at the coal face of these impacts. The challenge of reducing the emissions that are fuelling this climate chaos is a global one. Protecting ecosystems and biodiversity to make our country as comfortable and as safe for human habitation as possible, is a local one.
WildOz researches the impact of national industries on our ecosystems and partners with local projects and organisations to look at what work needs to be done to ensure as safe a future for our unique flora and fauna as possible.