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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

24 September 1999

NEW PROTECTION FOR RARE NATIVE SPECIES


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today moved to protect a range of endangered plants and animals by placing three native bushland habitats on the official endangered list.

Senator Hill said the Grassy White Box Woodlands, Buloke Woodlands of the Riverina and Murray Darling and the Semi-Evergreen Vine Thickets of NSW would be listed under the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992.

He said extensive clearing had left only remnants of each vegetation type and they were important habitats for rare flora and fauna species.

"The Grassy White Box Woodland of NSW are home to the nationally endangered Swift Parrot, Regent Honeyeater and Superb Parrot. It's estimated less than 400 hectares currently survive in a relatively unmodified condition," Senator Hill said.

"Similarly, only remnant pockets remain of the Buloke Woodlands - an important source of food for the endangered South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo.

"The semi-evergreen vine thickets of the Brigalow Belt are home to a range of rare plant and animal species around Warialda, Gunnedah and Bingara in northern NSW, with less than 3000 hectares remaining."

All three species were nominated under Schedule 2 of the Endangered Species Protection Act, which provided for the listing of endangered ecological communities. Ecological communities are defined as an integrated group of native species that inhabit a particular area. Prior to these three new listings there were only two other listings for ecological communities under the Act.

"The endangered species Program of the Natural Heritage Trust enables the Government to give an increasing focus on the protection and recovery of endangered communities," said Senator Hill.

Contacts:
Rod Bruem (Senator Hill) (02) 6277 7640 or 0411 128 582
David Kay (Environment Australia) (02) 6274 2240

Commonwealth of Australia