Australia

Land clearing leads to NSW animal 'crisis'

New research has found land clearing contributes to the death of up to 10 million animals a year and the loss of habitat for about five million animals in NSW.

Tree clearing and habitat destruction could be contributing to the deaths of millions of animals each year in NSW, conservationists says.

It's believed up to 10 million animals are killed and five million mammals, birds and reptiles lose their habitat across the state because of land clearing annually, a new report by a group of environmental organisations has found.

The report, released on Friday, blames the 2017 repeal of NSW's Native Vegetation Act for an escalation in the destruction of wildlife habitats and an increase in the number of animal deaths.

"The pain and suffering of native animals when their tree homes are bulldozed really is a hidden crisis," WWF-Australia spokesman Stuart Blanch told AAP in a statement.

"Australia has the worst extinction rate in the world for mammals. Our report exposes what native animals endure as they are erased from the landscape."

The destruction of bushland has also led to an increasing number of animals suffering injuries with wildlife rescue organisation WIRES recording an increase in the number of animals treated every year since 2012.

The report suggests animals can suffer lacerations, broken limbs, crushed organs, suffer entanglement injuries and get hit by cars as they try to escape bulldozers.

The coalition of environmental groups - WWF, WIRES, International Fund for Animal Welfare and Humane Society International - is demanding urgent reform of land-clearing laws to drive down the rates of destruction.

They also recommend pre-clearing surveys be undertaken to identify and relocate native animals and companies contributing to tree-clearing should fund the regeneration of lost wildlife habitats.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch