Long Paddock Scientists Statement

Please see below a message asking for scientists to support a letter that articulates the values of Australia's travelling stock route network as well as concern at threats it currently faces in both NSW and Queensland.

Details for how to support this statement are outlined in the letter below - it only takes approx 10 seconds to do!
Dear Fellow Scientists,

We are writing to request your support for a statement by scientists articulating the values of Australia's travelling stock route network as well as concern at threats it currently faces in both NSW and Queensland.

The Travelling Stock Route network provides a critical resource for biodiversity in our highly modified landscape. The urgency of this situation requires us to compile signatures by noon on 27th August, for formal launching of the statement on the 28th, and we apologise for that timeline. These things always take a huge effort and we don't control political timelines.

Since the 19th Century, the routes have provided an important resource to graziers. More recently it has been recognised that in extensively cleared landscapes, the network contains some of the best remaining examples of threatened vegetation, such as grassy white box woodlands. Being fairly straight lines they tend to sample the vegetation types fairly evenly, often better than our reserve system. Furthermore, the network of routes and reserves provides important connectivity over a vast area (over 3 000 000 ha across the two states). It is already well known to provide important resources for birds moving across the eastern states. The value of the network for movement of individuals and genetic material is heightened in an environment now adapting to changed climate
conditions. The network contains important historic and cultural heritage values.

Administrative changes imminent in NSW and Qld pose a threat to the network. In Queensland, it is likely that large areas will be subject to long term leases, allowing permanent grazing that is incompatible with the maintenance of biodiversity values. In NSW, the threat is even greater, as changes to the administering Act, likely to occur in September will make it probable that much of the network may be handed back to the Department of Lands and then leased for the long term or sold.
We thus ask you to read the attached statement and consider adding your support to that of other concerned Australian scientists in this 'Long Paddock Scientists' Statement'. Your professional details are not required, as we are asking for your personal support. However, we respectfully ask that in your reply you list your tertiary qualifications, as we feel this will add weight to the statement. Further, we would appreciate your help in sending this statement to fellow scientists with formal qualifications. For supporting scientists to be included in the statement we will require a return email from each, rather than a list of names. If you wish to sign then please send a reply email with your name and qualifications to longpaddockscientists@gmail.com.

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