Why ecosystem restoration is so important for threatened species

The theme 2022 draws attention to the conservation of a few of the most endangered wildlife and plants and encourages discussions on finding solutions and strategies to protect the species.

Around the world, more than 8.400 kinds of natural animals and plants are threatened.

More than 30,000 people are thought to be at risk or in danger.

The United Nations suggests that more than one million species are at risk of extinction.

The year 2022 will be the first World Wildlife Day. It will be the catalyst for discussions about changing this fate for the most threatened species. Encouraging the rehabilitation of their ecosystems and habitats, and advocating for their sustainable use by humans.

What’s the situation at home?

In Australia, there are more than 1,700 species, and eco-communities are threatened by extinct due to a wide range of threats, which include:

  • habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation
  • The invasive species
  • non-sustainable use and management of natural resources
  • modifications to the aquatic ecosystem and the flow of water
  • shifting fire regimes
  • Climate change.

There are at present over 90 South Australian animal species and more than 100 plant species listed as threatened nationally in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

In the state of South Australia, there are 324 species of animal and 828 species of plants listed as endangered as per the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.

The above figures comprise 41 plant species, 24 mammal species and 8 bird species disappearing within South Australia since European colonization.

While the individual species under threat can be alarming the natural world, it is often characterized by special interdependent interactions between animals and plants in which one species relies on the other for food, pollination and the spread of seeds. When one element is lost or reduced, this can result in the whole ecosystem being threatened.

A large portion of South Australia’s ecological communities are considered endangered or of conservation concern, because their survival in the future is in danger from being extensively cleared and fragmented or are naturally limited in their distribution.

Although we hear a lot about the importance of certain creatures and plants of particular interest, There are many more like the 10 South Australian’s less well-known vulnerable species.

What programs are currently in place to assist?

A wide range of activities are being taken to help our endangered animals and species throughout South Australia, from bushfire recovery on Kangaroo Island and the Adelaide Hills Restoration of habitats, as well as removing the weeds and pests, and then reintroducing these species to areas of the range that were previously occupied by initiatives such as Bounceback, Back From the Brink and the Mallee Woodland Birds project.

Wildlife isn’t only about animals. It is also the work of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium’ South Australian Seed Conservation Centre to safeguard our unique plants. They have saved the seeds of 82 per cent of South Australia’s endangered species.

The Seed Conservation Centre is working with schools and other organizations in the entire state of South Australia to protect the threatened South Australian plant species from the brink of extinction.

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