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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Our `undeclared war' on wildlife

The Mercury: Our `undeclared war' on wildlife [27nov05]

TASMANIA'S wildlife is under attack, says wildlife carer Suzy Manigian.

Ms Manigian, from the Tasmanian Conservation Trust, said an "undeclared war" on wildlife was happening in the state.

"Everywhere biologists look, they find species in trouble," said Ms Manigian, who will lead a protest against the "war on wildlife" this morning at the Devonport Spirit of Tasmania terminal.

It has the backing of Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania and the Tasmanian Conservation Trust, in conjunction with Animal Liberation NSW and Victoria.

"We want to raise public awareness of the plight of Tasmania's wildlife and meet the cars rolling off for a visit to the natural state," Ms Manigian said.

Devil facial tumour disease is still a big problem, the platypus is suffering from fungal ulcers.

"Pademelons are going down with toxoplasmosis in a big way and blundering blindly on to roadways and elevating the incidence of roadkill. Wombats are coming down with sarcoptic mange.

"Our frogs are being decimated by chytrid fungus infections and now there is some suggestion that quolls may have some pathogen in their population.

"What about all the species that no one is studying?

"It's most of the small and inconspicuous birds and animals, there are no comprehensive surveys, so we don't have any idea how they are faring."

She said there was no systematic survey of native fauna species and no up-to-date, accessible database plotting their wellbeing.

She said Tasmania's wildlife was routinely persecuted by:

- 1080 poison and unregulated poisoning.

- Recreational hunting using dogs.

- Crop-protection shooting.

- Commercial shooting and trapping.

- Dog and cat attack.

- Logging, clearing and habitat modification.

- Introduction of foxes and other feral animals.

- Roadkill.

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