The Australian Government's Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer has released the interim priority list of exotic environmental pests and diseases for consultation (the Priority List). The public consultation closes on the 4th of October.
The Priority List focuses on exotic pests and diseases that pose the highest risk to our environment and public spaces. This list will be used to enable activities that help prevent the entry, establishment and spread of exotic pests and diseases. We are seeking ways to increase adoption, awareness and use of the Priority List, as well as providing you with the opportunity to raise any other comments about the Priority List and its implementation.
Invasive species are the primary threat to Australian fauna and flora. Australia’s environment is unique. Conservation International identifies Australia as 1 of 17 megadiverse countries. Australian biodiversity comprises around 600,000 species of animals and plants, many of which are endemic.
Almost a hundred species have become extinct in the last 200 years. Another 1,770 are threatened or endangered. 1,257 threatened and endangered Australian species are affected by:
- 207 invasive plants
- 57 invasive animals
- 3 disease-causing organisms.
We must prevent new invasive species entering and establishing in Australia. Prevention delivers the highest return on investment. Far more than eradication, containment or asset protection.
The 2017 Biosecurity Review identified the need to adopt a systematic approach to determine and plan for national priority animal, plant and environmental pests and diseases.