They may be cute, small and fluffy but sugar gliders pose a major threat to one of the country’s most endangered birds.
The little marsupials found in various places across Australia are sadly having a severe impact on the breeding of Tasmania’s swift parrot and as a result may be culled under plans by the state government.
Currently the gliders are causing a problem as they eat swift parrot eggs, kill chicks and even adults birds, with a whopping 79 per cent of nests and 69 per cent of breeding females falling victim to the marsupials each year.
However, according to the ABC this hasn’t gone down well with not-for-profit animal rights group Animal Liberation Tasmania.
“It’s one of those difficult situations, because the swift parrot needs all the help it can get…but at the same time it’s just this disappointing cycle of government bodies and agencies viewing conservation efforts as purely ‘kill kill kill,” spokesperson Kristy Algar told the national broadcaster.
Rather than opting to cull, Algar said there are plenty of other options to consider that won’t impact other animals.
The spokesperson told the ABC the actions of humans have also led to the dwindling numbers of the parrots over the years with logging and habitat destruction.
“We need to actually start looking a little bit more closely at ourselves as a species rather than blaming what we deem invasive species,” Algar said.
Animals on the land aren’t the only ones at threat of culling, with four sharks recently killed off the coast off Queensland after two people were bitten in seperate life-threatening attacks.
Read more: ‘It’s their territory’: Outrage as four sharks culled in Whitsundays
Officials from Fisheries Queensland enticed the sharks to their fate using baited lines and “humanely euthanised” the predators, despite being unsure whether they were the creatures responsible for the attacks on 46-year-old Justine Barwick and 12-year-old Hannah Papps.
However the state government’s actions have now been slammed by conservation groups and members of the public, with experts claiming the use of baited drum lines could actually make the situation worse, rather than prevent further attacks as intended.