Australians worst nation on Earth at preserving wildlife

SYDNEY – Australians love their wildlife – after all, who could fail to warm to a koala, or a wombat, or a kangaroo? But few Australians know that they have the worst record on the planet for conserving their beautiful and unusual animals.

Of all the mammal species that have become extinct in the past 200 years, nearly half are Australian.

Since the British arrived, 27 mammals – about 10 per cent of the total – have disappeared.

These are statistics that “embarrass many conservationists, myself included”, says Tammie Matson, head of the species programme at WWF Australia.

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