Australian news, and some related international items

The black-throated finch – a species threatened with extinction, if Adani coal project goes ahead

Adani’s Carmichael mine and the small endangered bird that is proving a big problem, ABC News 3 May 19

Key points:

  • The range of the black-throated finch has contracted by 80 per cent
  • Birdlife Australia says it is already extinct in NSW
  • The Carmichael mine proposal would consume one of the finch’s key habitats

Last night, the proposed coal mine was dealt a massive blow when the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) rejected Adani’s current management plan for the southern black-throated finch.

It told the Indian miner the management plan “does not meet the requirements of the company’s environmental authority”.

The Carmichael mine would take up one of the last remaining healthy habitats for the black-throated finch.

A DES web page on the endangered bird explains that the black-throated finch (southern subspecies) once extended from Inverell in north-east New South Wales, through eastern Queensland, to the Atherton Tablelands and west to central Queensland.

It said the finch (southern subspecies) range had “contracted by approximately 80 per cent of its former extent over the last 20 years and is now restricted to the northern part of its former range”.

“The black-throated finch (southern subspecies) inhabits grassy woodland dominated by eucalypts, paperbarks or acacias where there is accessibility to seeding grasses,” DES said.

“Recent records from Queensland suggest that riparian habitat is particularly important as it seems to provide shelter within a highly fragmented and modified environment.”

Sean Dooley from Birdlife Australia said the finch was already extinct in New South Wales and that there were now only two small populations left in the world, both in Queensland.

There are believed to be fewer than 1,000 black-throated finches still alive.

There is a small population west of Townsville, but the main population is on the footprint of the Adani mine lease in the Galilee Basin. “Carmichael coal mine is ground zero for this bird,” Mr Dooley said………

Mr Dooley congratulated the Queensland Government for rejecting the company’s environmental management plan for the finch.

“Obviously the Queensland Government would have been under a lot of political pressure and pressure from interest groups to allow this to go through,” he said…….

May 4, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, environment

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