Data on the world’s 173,461 terrestrial protected areas and 21,419 species on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to provide advice on improving the effectiveness of the earth’s protected areas in protecting our global biodiversity.
An area’s level of irreplaceability reflects the dependence of wildlife species on that area for survival, with the level of irreplaceability increasing the more a species is restricted to that area.
A high number of species in the Wet Tropics are only found here such as the mahogany glider and our two tree-kangaroo species. These, along with the area’s large number of threatened species such as the southern cassowary and their distinct habitats, contributed to the Wet Tropics’ high score of irreplaceability.
The high irreplaceability ranking of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area comes alongside a commitment by Australian Minister for the Environment, The Hon Greg Hunt MP, to fund the Wet Tropics Management Authority for the next five years.
Wet Tropics Management Authority executive director, Andrew Maclean, said he was delighted with Minister Hunt’s continued support and vision for World Heritage management in far north Queensland.
“The ranking of the Wet Tropics in the top list of irreplaceable protected areas highlights the extraordinary and special place that the Wet Tropics region plays in the conservation of the earth’s biodiversity. It also emphasises our responsibilities both locally and internationally in strategically managing our resources.”
“Commonwealth funding will help the Wet Tropics Management Authority to work with its partners to continue the high standard of conservation and protection of our unique species and their habitats,” Mr Maclean said.