A failure by past Victorian governments to prioritise river health has left large tracts of River Red Gumforests and globally significant wetlands struggling to survive.
Too much irrigation water has been taken from our river systems for too long. So when below average rainfalls associated with a drier climate really sunk in, these rivers, wetlands and forests were thirsty for fourteen long years.
For floodplain ecosystems, such a long time without a drink risks the survival of many flood-dependent native plants and animals.
‘The Thirsty 13’ assessment showcases plants and animals threatened at either a national or state level.
Their plight is even greater from a lack of environmental water in the new River Red Gum parks. There are many more species at risk. Securing an adequate and legally-entitled environment water allocation for the new parks for delivery from 2012 will help ensure the survival of these ‘Thirsty 13’.