ABC Online: Pet market tipped to save endangered wildlife
Our native animals are so vulnerable to feral species in the wild that a major rethink of long-standing policy (that many native animals are illegal to keep as pets) is in the wind. Sanctuaries simply aren’t keeping the threat of extinction at bay. So would captive breeding programs in people’s backyards be a better protection?
The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation has completed a feasibility study into the pros and cons of encouraging people to have native mammals as pets, the sale of which might fund captive breeding programs to help future re-release of some species in the wild.
One of the report’s investigators, Rosie Cooney, says having more native mammals as pets will raise their profile and make sure more people care about their plight in the wild.
“The vast majority of Australians know very little about the vast majority of our species, so there’s no possible way they can value them,” she said.
“The better we know our species, the more chance we’ve got that people are going to care about their long-term conservation.”