A pet dodo, that’s what you want, ain’t it? A fun little dodo bizzing about the house, pecking your shins, sitting next to you on the sofa while you watch TV - your lovely pet dodo, your best friend. SORRY, can’t have it, you are not allowed to have your own pet dodo, because they are extinct, so it is impossible. But that’s just the most famous extinct animal - a hell of a lot of other species have fallen by the wayside and shuffled off the edge of this very flat earth.
And we’ve only got more sad extinction to come, particularly Down Under, where Australia’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub have identified 17 unique birds and mammals that are gonna hit the bin if we don’t buck our ideas up.
Professor John Woinarski, deputy director of the Threatened Species Recovery Hub at the National Environmental Science Program, said:
“The fate of these species depends upon support from governments and communities, and public interest, awareness and involvement.”
Researchers drew up a list of 40 species, then combined two existing measures of extinction with interviews conducted with 30 experts, to calculate an overall risk percentage for the poor things. Out of the 40-strong list, they predict that 17 will completely disappear.
Here’s that unfortunate list (including their chance of extinction within 20 years):
King Island brown thornbill (94%)
Orange-bellied parrot (87%)
King Island scrubtit (83%)
Western ground parrot (75%)
Houtman Abrolhos painted button-quail (71%)
Central rock-rat (65%)
Regent Honeyeater (57%)
Grey-range thick-billed grasswren (53%)
Herald petrel (52%)
Northern hopping-mouse (48%)
Black-eared miner (47%)
Carpentarian rock-rat (44%)
Christmas Island flying-fox (41%)
Black-footed tree-rat (Kimberley and mainland NT) (39%)
Northern eastern bristlebird (39%)
Gilbert’s potoroo (36%)
Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg spoke with the ABC, saying that the government were keen to stem this decline in the animals’ populations - it’s even appointed a Threatened Species Commissioner and launched the so-called Threatened Species Strategy. He says:
“There is a big task ahead, but the Government is working with the community, scientists, land managers and state and territory governments to ensure that we are all working together in the fight against extinction.”
Whether this will materialise into an effective combatant to the looming extinction of these animals remains to be seen, but fingers crossed they, and we (tell us!) can do something about it.