It is significant then that cats come to the fore in the Commission, when the research suggests other factors are also at play, including: foxes, the loss of aboriginal fire-based land management and what they refer to as the ‘rapid continent scale replacement of a purposeful and long-established indigenous land management regime by a substantially more exploitative and transformative set of land management practices’. Another word for this is settler colonialism. It brings the cats, foxes, sheep, cattle and pastoralism that rapidly alters habitats, landscapes through the annexation of Aboriginal land and the removal of Aboriginal people from their land. The authors note that pastoralism (mostly sheep and cattle) is now the dominant land use across much of Australia and that this has brought with it land clearing, habitat destruction, the restriction of firestick farming, persecution of animals such as macropods and koalas, and the effects on waterways of this system (water extraction, pollution, river modification, drought) leaves extraordinary animals like the platypus in ‘significant decline’ (4536). While the commission calls for a war on cats, the research makes ‘war on settler pastoralism/colonialism’ another possibility.Read More
This paper is available here and titled "Ongoing unraveling of a continental fauna: Decline and extinction of Australian mammals since European settlement".
It is a brief, published paper of a larger document "The Action Plan for Australian Mammals 2012" which is over 1,000 pages and costs over $100, which is probably why most people quoting the "22 extinct mammals" statistic... haven't read the full paper.Read More