I get paid to write the occasional article about environment issues. One story which intrigues me is the often repeated claim that “Half of all living bird and mammal species will be gone within 200 or 300 years”. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the source of much of this garbage.
Because half of all the world’s mammal species are supposedly in Australia, this equates to five species of mammal becoming extinct every year, or one mammal extinction every 2.4 months.
Not only can I find no reports of five mammals becoming extinct each year in Australia, but in 2003 a previously extinct species of wallaby was re-introduced to Australia from New Zealand. The UNEP media releases site contains no references to species becoming extinct, concentrating on announcements about hiring bureaucrats and how they spend money on studies. At least UNEP is honest about its priorities.
Are there really no mammals becoming extinct in Australia these days?