Target: Greg Hunt, Minister for the Environment, Australia
Goal: Investigate shocking mangrove dieback and work to ensure that protections are increased for the environment.
Thousands of hectares of mangroves in Northern Australia are dead or defoliated in what experts are calling the biggest mass mangrove die-off ever recorded. This dieback coincides with a similar one 700 km away, as well as the unprecedented bleaching of Australian coral reefs and a rise in ocean temperatures on the country’s east coast. Scientists are already blaming climate change as a likely factor.
Mangroves are coastal trees that can survive in salty or brackish water. They protect coastlines from tsunamis, erosion, and storm surge. They provide prime breeding spots for many marine species, including prawns, crabs, and barramundi. Several bird species, such as the vulnerable lesser noddy, rely on the trees for nesting and hunting.
Dr. Norm Duke, expert in mangrove classification and ecosystems, called the event “a world-first in terms of the scale of mangrove that have died.” He suspects that unusually low rainfall in the past two years paired with elevated temperatures created a lack of fresh water that stressed the pants beyond their capacity for recovery.
If alarming environmental events such as this mass dieback of mangroves as well as the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef continue unabated, the Australian ecosystem could lose many of its native species of flora and fauna. Sign the petition below to demand that the government launch an investigation into this disaster and start working aggressively to repair the environment.
Dear Mr. Hunt,
An estimated 10,000 hectares of mangroves fell victim to the largest mangrove dieback ever recorded. The event, which is currently taking place in the Northern Gulf of Carpentaria, coincides with a similar die-off currently occurring near Queensland as well as the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef. Scientists are pointing to hot weather and low rainfall, likely related to climate change, as major factors in the loss of these trees.
Mangroves provide protection to coastlines and serve as homes or breeding havens for dozens of species, including the vulnerable lesser noddy. If left unchecked, these disastrous environmental events could devastate the Australian ecosystem, resulting in the extinction of several native species. We, the undersigned, ask that you get to the bottom of these die-offs and do everything in your power to ensure that they don’t continue.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Willem van Aken