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What is a Sanctuary and why do we need them ?

There are a number of ways to define a Sanctuary but most I suspect would think of it is a refuge, a haven, a protected home and shelter.

In the context of our Australian native flora and fauna we establish sanctuaries, whether privately or publicly owned and on land or at sea, as reserves to conserve, protect and nurture our dwindling native animals, birds, plants, marine life and insects. In other words, to conserve a small piece of our biodiversity.  And rapidly dwindling they are through the disappearance of their habitat in Australia’s incredibly rich, diverse, but also fragile ecosystems which are increasingly threatened. 

The greatest threat to biodiversity is the size and rate of growth of human population. Everyday, more people need more space, consume more resources and generate more waste as world population continues to grow at an alarming rate. The introduction of exotic  or foreign species, (rabbits, foxes, cats, cane toads, various weeds to name just a few),  have damaged land and water resources and sometimes brought diseases with them. In addition, they may compete with native plants and animals for food and shelter.

Many ecosystems have been lost during the past 200 years.

Some of these ecosystems include:
•  75% of rainforests and nearly 50% of all forests;
•  over 60% of coastal wetlands in southern and eastern Australia;
•  nearly 90% of temperate woodlands and mallee;
•  more than 99% of south-eastern Australia's temperate lowland grasslands;
•  over 83% of Tasmania's lowland grasslands and grassy woodlands;
•  about 95% of brigalow scrub that originally grew in Queensland;
•  over 90% of Victoria's grasslands.

Individually and collectively we can, and must, find ways of living sustainably and without destroying the biodiversity around us. We know that our actions have had serious and lasting impacts on many species and ecosystems across the planet. We have altered our environment to the extent that we can no longer take for granted a future in which nature supports our physical, economic and social needs. We all need to work together towards shared goals if we are to conserve our natural, living wealth – our biodiversity – for future generations.

Why not start by visiting a sanctuary or reserve? 

Then ask yourself the question, ‘Where does all my plastic waste go?‘ 

Why not volunteer with a Landcare group and become a 'hands on’ protector of our environment?

Albatross with the plastic objects it has eaten while searching for food.