Having already lost much of its habitat in the last 30 years, the Southern Black-throated Finch will plummet towards extinction if Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine goes ahead as planned, experts have warned.
In a damning report submitted to Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg today, the Black-throated Finch Recovery Team—charged with safeguarding this Endangered species—describes a fundamentally flawed offset plan that will have grave consequences for the future of this bird.
“Adani’s Carmichael mine will destroy a large part of the best remaining habitat for the Black-throated Finch, in an area that is home to a significant proportion of the largest known population,” said Dr Tony Grice, Chair of the Black-throated Finch Recovery Team.
“Losing this rich habitat would be a major blow to the chances of this bird surviving.”
The Recovery Team, who has been working with BirdLife Australia to prevent the extinction of this species, has prepared a report which analyses the Biodiversity Offset Strategy and Black-throated Finch Management Plan—documents they were only able to obtain under freedom of information laws. The report reveals how Adani and the Queensland Government have failed their obligations to consult with this expert body which is charged with ensuring its survival.
"The offsets are of much poorer quality than the habitat that’s being destroyed,” Dr Grice explained. “There’s no guarantee that the rehabilitation work Adani is planning will make the offset areas any more suitable for Black-throated Finches than they already are. You cannot replace the best Black-throated Finch habitat.”
The recovery team report also highlights major flaws in the calculations used in developing the offsets for the Carmichael Coal Mine.
“These offset areas are drastically smaller than they should be to offset the mine’s impacts,” added Margaret Quixley, BirdLife Australia Conservation Manager. “Size really matters, and Adani has greatly underestimated how much land should be given over to offset their damage. What they’ve allocated is less than a half the size it’s supposed to be.”
“In short, Black-throated Finch habitat will be lost, and their dwindling numbers will fall further if these key issues are not effectively addressed.”