Protect Wedge-Tailed Eagles From Drastic Drops in Population

Target: John Whittington, Secretary of Tasmania’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

Goal: Strengthen protections for wedge-tailed eagles hit hard by poaching, habitat loss, and human intervention.

With a possible length of three-and-a-half feet and wings that can span over nine feet, the wedge-tailed eagle has claimed the crown as Australia’s biggest bird of prey. The animals populate nearly every kind of terrain on the continent. Despite their resilience, these captains of the sky have also faced continuous threats from humans.

Throughout the decades, wedge-tailed eagles were often persecuted because of their predator status. They have been shot, poisoned, and intentionally ensnared in rabbit traps. At one point, the Australian government even had a law in place that recognized the species as vermin to be exterminated.

While these birds are now protected from such targeted killings, they still face high mortality rates from other factors. Many are electrocuted or collide with vehicles, and nest abandonments are increasing because the species is very sensitive to human disturbances. In addition, poaching still remains a major problem. But perhaps the greatest modern threat to these majestic birds is deforestation that essentially wipes away their homes. This problem is particularly prominent in Tasmania, which is experiencing soaring rates of habitat loss.

Sign the petition below to urge local leaders to ramp up conservation efforts in this beleaguered region.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Whittington,

A photographer recently unveiled an exhibit entitled The Killing Sink. This exhibit details Australia’s complicated and often deadly relationship with one of its longstanding native species: the wedge-tailed eagle. Throughout this nation’s history, these aerial wonders have been persecuted and killed relentlessly, sometimes at the government’s behest. They may be legally protected from this slaughter now, yet they still face grave dangers.

Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles endure an especially daunting obstacle: the eradication of their forest homes. The efforts to create nest reserves in protected areas are a promising start, but these initiatives should be expanded and deepened. Please support a comprehensive conservation program that includes enhanced protection zones, a scale back of destructive deforestation, and greater penalties for poachers who still cruelly execute these animals.

Help preserve this rich and vital part of Tasmania’s ecosystems and Australia’s natural legacy.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ed Dunens


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