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Garrett to consider devils as critically endangered

Greens deputy leader, Senator Christine Milne has welcomed a decision by the Federal Minister for Environment to consider uplisting the Tasmanian devil's status from endangered to critically endangered.

"This is encouraging news from Minister Garrett. Last year I called for the official process of uplisting to be opened following news of the devil's continued decline."

"Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease has to date decimated more than 70 percent of devil populations, meaning this iconic marsupial is now closer to extinction than some animals currently listed as critically threatened under the EPBC Act."

"Should Minister Garrett and the Threatened Species Scientific Committee find the devil's situation so dire as to uplist, it will be a code red emergency warning that the Tasmanian devil is just one step away from extinction in the wild."

"Destructive development of key devil habitat will threaten its long-term survival. Building roads through the Tarkine, be it for tourists, logging or mining will open the devil's final stronghold up to the ravages of a disease with no cure."

"Minister Garrett is asking for nominations to be submitted to his department by 25 March. I am therefore calling on members of the public and the scientific community to draw on new and additional information demonstrating the full extent of the devil's diminished status."

"Nominations are vital if we are to have any hope of preserving the Tasmanian devil. An uplisting to critically endangered will mean a new threat abatement plan will be drawn to counter direct threats to the devil including the opening of the Tarkine region to development."

"If we cannot find a cure for the disease, the least we should be doing is protecting the devil's final stronghold."

For information on how to make nominations, visit the government's biodiversity page on:

http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/nominations.html#p...

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