AUSTRALIA's gum-eating marsupials - the native greater gliders - have now officially been added to the country's endangered species list - joining the likes of the koala, the Bogong moth and the gang-gang cockatoo.
After the 2019-2020 bushfires wiped out 32 per cent of the greater glider population, environmentalist and advocacy groups have been calling for urgent action to save the marsupials.
Now, as the national listing changes from vulnerable to endangered, those same groups say the new listing must be followed with urgent measures if the species is to be saved from extinction.
Victorian National Parks Association director Matt Ruchel said the Black Summer fires in east Gippsland forced the gliders to move further west, and it's important to preserve their new habitats.
"We did a big report on it in 2020 where we identified quite a few areas that were less burnt," he said.
"And they've got high densities of gliders, but they're now threatened by logging."
The new listing comes amidst rising tensions over forest management in the Wombat State Forest, where a significant population of greater gliders was recently identified.
"Things like the salvage logging in the Wombat State Forest, in our view, aren't helping," Mr Ruchel said.
"That hasn't really been planned very effectively, to either understand the implications for gliders or other species."
Mr Ruchel said there were several key steps that needed to be taken to mitigate the risk to the species.
VNPA has been lobbying the Victorian government to place critical habitat determinations on certain areas of the Wombat State Forest, which would "put controls on the amount of damage done by things like logging and habitat clearing."
"There's a whole lot of actions that federal and state governments can take," he said.
"They haven't been using those tools yet but they are particularly important for areas that haven't been impacted by fire."
While the future of the glider's is uncertain, the species aren't alone in their endangered listing and the Australian Conservation Foundation said a combination of factors is to blame for the growing endangered species list.
"Australia's unique biodiversity, evolved over millions of years, is under threat like never before from a combination of land clearing, logging, climate change and invasive species," said ACF campaign manager Basha Stasak.
"Australia has one of the world's highest extinction rates and since the national environment law came into force more than 20 years ago, the list of threatened species and ecosystems has continued to grow.
"Without fundamental reform of our national environment laws and adequate funding to recover threatened species we won't arrest the downward trajectory of our wildlife."
Environment minister Tanya Plibersek will release the five-yearly State of the Environment report on July 19.
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