The latest data from Queensland’s Statewide Landcover and Trees Study (SLATS), which uses satellite images to monitor changes in native vegetation cover in the state, shows there is still more nature being destroyed than regrown.

“Once again 350,000 hectares (194,000 Gabbas) of bush habitat for native wildlife has been bulldozed in Queensland, mostly to make way for sheep and cattle,” said the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Business and Nature campaigner Nathaniel Pelle.

“Our forests and woodlands are still being destroyed faster than they can regrow.

“Hundreds of threatened species will have lost critical habitat in this latest catalogue of destruction, including already endangered koalas.

“About half (47%) of this destruction has occurred in the Great Barrier Reef catchment area, adding to the pressure the world’s largest coral reef already faces from climate change.

“Land clearing has been called the biggest threat to nature in Australia for many decades and yet it continues at a devastating pace, driving climate change, damaging soil, polluting waterways and robbing native animals of their homes.

“More than 50,000 hectares (27,000 Gabbas) of the vegetation cleared was primary forest – habitat that has been around for many decades and can never be replaced.

“The Palaszczuk government needs to do more to protect crucial habitat in Queensland.

“The Albanese government has committed to the Glasgow Declaration to end deforestation, to achieve net zero emissions and has promised no new extinctions, none of which can be achieved while year after year, hundreds of thousands of hectares of Queensland forest continues to be bulldozed.”

Statewide Landcover and Trees Study (SLATS) is an annual scientific monitoring program undertaken by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science’s Remote Sensing Centre. It uses satellite pictures to detect changes in native vegetation cover in the state.

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