Scientists say clearing the largest remaining habitat of the black-throated finch to make way for coalmines will have ‘irreversible consequences’
Friday 24 April 2015 06.43 BSTLast modified on Friday 24 April 201508.31 BST
The creation of Australia’s largest mine will have “serious detrimental and irreversible consequences” for the endangered black-throated finch and may even push it to extinction, a recovery team for the species has advised Greg Hunt, the federal environment minister.
The black-throated finch recovery team, comprised of scientists from the CSIRO and James Cook University as well as representatives from Townsville council, have written to Hunt and the Queensland government to warn of the impact of the $16.5bn Carmichael mine, set to be situated in the Galilee Basin region.
The letter states that there are only two remaining habitats where significant populations of black-throated finches remain, with the largest of these areas to be cleared to make way for the network of open-cut and underground mines that will make up the 455 sq km Carmichael project.
The clearing of 87 sq km of prime finch habitat will pose a “serious risk” to the future of the species, the recovery team warns, while plans to mitigate the threat are “inadequate”.