Ir­re­place­able rain­for­est

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

OF more than 173,000 pro­tected ar­eas, the Wet Tropics World Her­itage Area is the sec­ond most ‘‘ir­re­place­able’’ nat­u­ral World Her­itage Ar­eas on earth and the sixth most ir­re­place­able pro­tected area, ac­cord­ing to a team of in­ter­na­tional sci­en­tists.

Data on the world’s 173,461 ter­res­trial pro­tected ar­eas and 21,419 species on The IUCN Red List of Threat­ened Species were an­a­lysed to pro­vide ad­vice on im­prov­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of the earth’s pro­tected ar­eas in pro­tect­ing our global bio­di­ver­sity.

An area’s level of ir­re­place­abil­ity re­flects the de­pen­dence of wildlife species on that area for sur­vival, with the level of ir­re­place­abil­ity in­creas­ing the more a species is re­stricted to that area.

A high num­ber of species in the Wet Tropics are only found here such as the ma­hogany glider and our two tree- kan­ga­roo species. These, along with the area’s large num­ber of threat­ened species such as the southern cas­sowary and their dis­tinct habi­tats, con­trib­uted to the Wet Tropics’ high score of ir­re­place­abil­ity.

The high ir­re­place­abil­ity rank­ing of the Wet Tropics World Her­itage Area comes along­side a com­mit­ment by Min­is­ter for the En­vi­ron­ment, Greg Hunt, to fund the Wet Tropics Man­age­ment Author­ity for the next five years.

Wet Tropics Man­age­ment Author­ity ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor, An­drew Maclean, said he was de­lighted with Min­is­ter Hunt’s con­tin­ued sup­port and vi­sion for World Her­itage man­age­ment in far north Queens­land.

‘‘The rank­ing of the Wet Tropics in the top list of ir­re­place­able pro­tected ar­eas high­lights the ex­tra­or­di­nary and spe­cial place that the Wet Tropics re­gion plays in the con­ser­va­tion of the earth’s bio­di­ver­sity. It also em­pha­sises our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties both lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally in strate­gi­cally manag­ing our re­sources.’’

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