02 May, 2016

Regent Honeyeater - EDO fighting Extinction !


The Regent Honeyeater, with its brilliant flashes of yellow embroidery, was once seen overhead in flocks of hundreds. Today the Regent Honeyeater has become a 'flagship species' for conservation in the threatened box-ironbark forests of Victoria and NSW on which it depends.
       -Australian Government Department of the Environment

We are fighting extinction where it matters, in the Courts, and we’re winning! EDO NSW recently represented a Hunter Valley community group who has been fighting for many years to protect an area of forest vital to the long term survival of the the Regent Honeyeater, a bird on the brink of extinction.
It's the end of the financial year. Your donation to our Environmental Defence Fund this tax time will ensure we can continue fighting legal battles for communities who are committed to protecting our wildlife from extinction.
The Regent Honeyeater is listed as critically endangered under both state and national environmental laws. The evidence suggests there are less than 400 of these beautiful birds left in existence. Our client, Friends of Tumblebee, came to us for help when an approval was granted for the clearing of habitat in a key breeding ground for the species. The clearing was to make way for an industrial development and was likely to place the local population, which makes up 10-20% of the global population of the species, at risk of extinction.

In a stunning judgment, the Court drew parallels between the Regent Honeyeater and the Tasmanian Tiger, a symbol of extinction worldwide, finding that the bird is in ‘grave peril’ and that ‘habitat destruction is a primary reason for its imperilled status’:
"In a gloomily lit room in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery patrons can watch silent black and white motion picture footage of the last known living thylacine taken in 1933 … In the profoundly sad grainy 62 second clip, the animal, seemingly agitated, repeatedly paces backwards and forwards in its enclosure at Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart … The thylacine, named “Benjamin”, died a mere three years later on 7 September 1936. There have been no officially recorded  sightings of the species since. It is considered extinct.
The permanent exhibition dedicated to the Tasmanian Tiger at the Museum is a poignant memorial to, and a powerful reminder of, how easily and quickly a species can, through human intervention, vanish forever.
… The Regent Honeyeater is a bird in grave peril. In the face of ongoing habitat loss, over the past decade it has undergone a severe population reduction and subject to periodic fluctuations its overall numbers continue to decline. In 2011, the total global population of the Regent Honeyeater was estimated to be between 350-400 mature birds, of which the majority are located in New South Wales. It is no exaggeration to describe the species as perched on the brink of extinction. It has been listed as a critically endangered species."
Without EDO NSW’s expert advice and representation, Friends of Tumblebee would not have been able to bring this matter before the Court. This victory is an important win for the Regent Honeyeater, the environment and the law. But together, Mary, we can do more.
More than 1,700 species and ecological communities are known to be threatened and at risk of extinction in Australia. And once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. With your support, we are committed to continuing to use our legal and scientific expertise to help community groups like Friends of Tumblebee bring cases to protect our precious wildlife and the environment.
Friends of Tumblebee never gave up. We will never give up. Will you?
Mary, it’s the end of the financial year, please give generously. We are your public interest environmental lawyers. Together, we can continue fighting these legal battles for communities who are committed to protecting our precious wildlife from extinction.
 Thank you
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CEO/Principal Solicitor
P.S  Mary, extinction is such a serious matter. The pressures on our environment and our threatened wildlife are increasing on many fronts, including the impacts of our changing climate. We are in the business of taking on serious matters. Our work in ensuring our laws protect the environment for future generations is more vital than ever. Please make a donation to our work today.

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