New research has revealed the endangered Bogong moth is fighting its way back from the brink of extinction, but still faces an uncertain future due to climate change and habitat destruction. 

The Australian Conservation Foundation has compiled the most up-to-date scientific data in collaboration with leading scientists to form a snapshot of the 2022 Alpine-bound Bogong moth migration.

Key findings:

  • Numbers of Bogong moths appear to be higher across the migratory range compared to the last five years.
  • The number of caves occupied by Bogong moths on Mount Gingera in the ACT are on track to match those from before the crash of 2017.
  • A third La Niña year has likely assisted the Bogong moth to build up numbers, following a population crash of up to 99.5%.
  • The underlying threats of droughts fuelled by a changing climate, habitat destruction, unsustainable agricultural practices and invasive species remain and will continue to place extinction pressure on this iconic Australian species.

The Bogong moth is a culturally significant and vital species that once had a population of more than four billion before it was almost completely wiped out by severe drought in 2017,” ACF nature campaigner Darcie Carruthers said.

“It’s heart-warming to see positive trends in the 2022 migration but it’s important to keep perspective – the Bogong moth remains under grave threat from climate change.

“The science is clear – global temperatures are heating and extreme weather will become more frequent, severe and unpredictable.

“We are at a pivotal moment for the Bogong moth. The 2022 rebound should be seen as motivation to urgently act on climate change so we can ensure the species continues to thrive and play its vital role for Australia’s at-risk Alpine ecosystem.

“The climate and extinction crises are intrinsically linked – we need to meaningful action on both if we are to protect our unique species.”

Read A flicker of hope

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