Australia’s Biodiversity series – Part 3: Status and Trends

If we want to look after the species that call Australia home we first need to know what’s actually out there and, secondly, how is what’s out there changing over time. But only about a quarter of our native species have actually been formally identified.

Like many other countries, Australia lacks good scientific data sets that can tell us about the status and trend of our biodiversity. We do know that our biodiversity has been modified by land clearing, destruction of habitats, invasive pest species, burning, harvesting species from the land and sea, and climate change. But because we weren’t there collecting data when the change processes began many decades ago, it’s hard to provide an accurate assessment of the change that has occurred.

The measures that we do have, like numbers of extinct and endangered species, tell us that our biodiversity is in decline. And current monitoring efforts reveal that the pressures on our biodiversity are increasing.

In the third video of our Australia’s Biodiversity series, Dr David Yeates talks about new monitoring programs that are helping us address the biodiversity knowledge gaps so that we’re able to better manage our native fauna and flora into the future:

To find out more about the status and trend of Australia’s biodiversity, you might like to read the corresponding chapter of CSIRO’s Biodiversity Book.

Last week’s video looked at how Australia’s biodiversity came to be so unique. You can review it and the other videos in the series on our YouTube channel.