An Australian study has blamed feral cats for the extinction of native mammals and warns 100 species are under threat from the creatures that inhabited the homes of early British settlers.
The Action Plan for Australian Mammals, compiled over three years, found a higher than previously known rate of mammal extinction, co-author John Woinarski of Charles Darwin University said Wednesday.
Woinarski told AFP Australia’s mammal extinction rate was the highest in the world, with more than 10 percent of species — 29 mammal fauna — wiped out since Europeans settled the country two centuries ago.
“At least one, and probably two, Australian mammals have been made extinct in the last decade, and if current trends continue many of the 55 threatened species will disappear within our life times,” he said, adding that even once-widespread animals such as the koala were in “serious decline”.
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