Australia aims to cut its rate of species extinctions to zero
The koala was classified as endangered this year.
By Yan Zhuang, New York Times

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia has laid out a conservation plan aimed at preventing the extinction of any more of its plants and animals, an ambitious target for a country that has lost species at one of the highest rates in the world.

The government announcement followed years of extreme weather events like wildfires and heat waves that have threatened the nation’s unique species, as well as a sweeping new five-year survey that found its environment and wildlife were facing greater threats than previously acknowledged.

The 10-year plan includes a commitment by the government to conserve 30 percent of the nation’s landmass, bringing Australia in line with dozens of other nations, including the United States, that have signed on to the same goal. About 22 percent of Australia’s landmass is currently protected, the report said, and increasing that figure to 30 percent would mean an increase of more than 235,000 square miles. It also identifies 110 threatened species and 20 habitats to be prioritized for conservation action.