Australia largely untouched by humans, say scientists

August 28th, 2008 - 4:32 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, August 28 (ANI): Scientists have found that the continent of Australia has been largely untouched by humans, and stands as one of the worlds top five wilderness havens, ranking alongside the Amazon forest and the Sahara desert.

A report by two conservation groups, the Pew Environment Group and the Nature Conservancy, found that forty percent of Australia qualifies as wilderness.

The two conservation groups have hired scientists to scan the globe for the last remaining areas of wilderness and the report, the Wild Australia Program Study, put Australia towards the top of the list.

As the worlds last great wilderness areas disappear under pressure from human impact, to have a continent with this much remaining wilderness intact is unusual and globally significant, said co-author Barry Traill.

The report identified 12 regions of Australia, which remain largely undamaged by humans, ranging from the Nullarbor plains to the rainforests of Cape York peninsula.

But, it warns Australia has the worst rate of species extinction and wilderness areas are under threat from feral animals such as pigs, buffaloes and weeds.

Wild areas needed to be actively managed for the future, said Traill. (ANI)

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