Australia is home to more than 500 species of bird, but a new state law is making changes to the way it looks at the birds of the world.
In a move that could save the lives of some of Australia’s most endangered species, the federal government announced last week it would name new states after different bird species.
“We have seen some pretty extreme events over the last few years and some really nice and beautiful things come from the changing climate and changing habitats,” said Julia Hynes, the acting head of the Australian Wildlife Heritage Council.
The name change would make it the first state in the world to do so.
The law was proposed after Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania announced changes to their names in 2018.
“When you see an endangered species like a pigeon in its native habitat you are seeing its range reduced and its habitat degraded,” Ms Hynes said.
“It’s really important to protect these species so that they can continue to live and thrive.”
“I think the term ‘species conservation’ has lost its meaning in Australia and I think it’s really dangerous,” Ms Hopps said.
Ms Hopps has called on the federal Government to rename states as it considers how to protect the threatened birds.
The Queensland Government says it is committed to protecting the bird and its habitats, and has proposed a plan to make Queensland the first Australian state to change the name of its state.
Ms Hynes says it’s not just Queensland that is planning to change their name.
“You have a number of other states that are trying to name their states after species that they’ve protected and that’s why we have so many species in the state,” she said.
The changes would mean the states name would change to the species of the bird in question.
“The birds of Queensland and New South Queensland are pretty well protected, and there are very few bird species that are in threat, so it’s a bit of a relief,” Ms Happs said, referring to the state’s bird diversity.
“And there’s just not a lot of bird species in New South Australia, so there are a lot that have to be protected.”
So it’s nice to have some sort of a name that says, ‘Hey, you’re in my state’.
“The changes to state names will apply to all animals and plants on Queensland’s Crown land, including native birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish and invertebrates.”
I hope the name changes will be as good as they can be for the birds, for the animals, for all the people who are on this land,” Ms Pang said.
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