ABC item – Wilderness areas ‘need humans to thrive’

Indigenous: Wilderness areas ‘need humans to thrive’

More people, not less, are needed in wilderness areas to stop species extinctions, an international conservation meeting is set to hear. And Indigenous people have a key contribution to make to this task, says Dr Barry Traill from the PEW Charitable Trust, who will present the views in a keynote speech to this week’s International Congress for Conservation Biology in Baltimore. “There is an unspoken belief that if you can have large pieces of country empty of people the country will come along quite fine by itself,” says Traill, a wildlife ecologist. But, he says while human activity can be a major reason for species loss, for most of the Australian outback, the biggest ongoing threat is lack of human management for fire, weeds and feral animals. “We have huge areas of landscapes th…

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