Australia is a Commonwealth of federated states and territories, so there is a Commonwealth or Federal (national) government that deals with national issues such as defence, trade, climate change, conservation often through creation and management of national parks, and so on. Each state and territory has its own elected government that looks after issues individual to its state/territory. The states are Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia. The territories are the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (A.C.T) where Australia’s capital city , Canberra, is located.
The Federal Government and each State Government has departments that deal with conservation and the environment, and of course governments make laws in Parliament.
A key conservation issue in all states is preservation of biodiversity, especially the remaining rainforests. Land management is key to conservation of animal species.
Sometimes the Federal Government has the major role in a conservation issue, such as protection of the Great Barrier Reef, which is a World Heritage site; sometimes a state/territory government plays the major role; sometimes two state/territory governments may combine if the issue is on a border, such as the Murray River between NSW and Victoria, or if the issue is common to both. Sometimes an issue is so critical that another state helps out: an example is the Tasmanian Devil, which is endemic to Tasmania. Its population is being devastated by a facial tumour disease, so Victoria and NSW each has a healthy ‘insurance’ group in captivity to ensure the survival of that species. When the disease is eradicated in Tasmania, these animals will be re-introduced to the Tasmanian wilderness.
Some government and non-government agencies who work at conservation in Australia
These Federal government websites give some details about some programs:
The Australian Coat of Arms
Much of the conservation work is done by state/territory governments however, as they deal with habitat and species within their area.This website lists some of the non government conservation groups, with links to their websites so you can see the sort of work they do. http://www.learnaboutwildlife.com/wildlifeconservation.html#conservationgroups
Some of the Victorian government’s work:
Helmeted honeyeater, Victorian bird emblem
New South Wales state government:
Platypus, NSW faunal emblem
South Australian government (menu gives the topics):
Piping shrike, South Australia's bird emblem
Western Australia’s government (see menu left hand side):
Numbat, Western Australian faunal emblem
Tasmanian devil, Tasmania's faunal emblem
Queensland government (use the menu on the left)
Koala, Queensland faunal emblem
Northern Territory government: most conservation issues are dealt with by the Federal Government
Information about National Parks (which are major conservation areas) in the NT: http://www.nt.gov.au/ntg4/Subject?myLevel=4&myRefPoint=cn=Land%20and%20Environment,cn=National%20Parks%20and%20Wilderness%20Areas&layout=show
Wedge-tailed eagle, NT's bird emblem
Some non-government conservation organisations:
Some organisations work to protect habitat and biodiversity, and therefore the living things that are part of that. Some organisations work to protect and save specific species. Some, like the Australian Conservation Foundation, work in a very wide range of activities including habitat restoration and protection, which of course impacts on wildlife. http://www.acfonline.org.au/?news_id=9
WWF Australia also has a global focus: http://www.wwf.org.au/
The Nature Conservancy is an organisation that has worked closely with the Australian government, local partners and Indigenous communities to protect some of the world’s rarest, most delicate ecosystems. Go here to read about their work http://www.natureaustralia.org.au/aboutus/
If you use any part of this in your own work, acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:
Sydenham, S. & Thomas, R. Australian Endangered Animals- Conservation [Online] www.kidcyber.com.au (2012).
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