BOUNCING BACK: Yangan resident fights to save wildlife
Southern Downs residents are fighting against a global trend of poor land management in an effort to stop local wildlife disappearing.
Yangan wildlife carer Lyn Gynther said she watched as the marsupial population dropped to record low numbers over the last ten years.
"It's just barren here," she said.
"I haven't seen a proper mob of grey kangaroos in ages."
Swampy the red necked wallaby was saved by Ms Gynther after its mother was found along a regional highway.
Ms Gynther said wildlife rescue groups in the Southern Downs used to receive over 30 requests to care for joeys each year, but that number has since dwindled to 4.
"It's very quiet," she said.
During her ten years in the area, Ms Gynther researched marsupial populations for Kangawatch and said she last recorded just five wallaroos.
"It's disgraceful," she said.
The wallaroo is one of millions of species worldwide that are facing extinction, according to a United Nations biodiversity report released this week.
The study, compiled over three years by 450 scientists, said land clearing, pollution and overhunting are partially responsible for largest loss of life they'd ever seen.
Ms Gynther hopes the study acts as a wake up call to farmers in the area.
"Right across Queensland we've lost thousands and thousands of native animals and will continue to do so if they don't change what they're doing," she said.
"We've fractured their ecosystem."
The UN study called for "drastic remedial action" to prevent knock-on effects throughout the food chain.
CEO of Southern Queensland National Resource Management Paul McDonald said his organisation planned to work with the community to balance the needs of nature and agriculture.
"We want to help landowners become more productive with what they have and help environmentalists understand the needs of the production section," he said.
"We do all need our ecosystem to be functioning well to have top notch production."
Mr McDonald said a simple way producers can help native wildlife is by fencing off natural water sources and allowing them time to rebuild.
"Within a decade you'd find a huge recovery," he said.
Putting crop byproducts in the soil will also help by improving carbon, help the soil to hold more water, and create more biological activity for the environment, he said.
Ms Gynther said individuals can help the cause by reading up on the needs of animals native to the area.
"If we want to survive as a species we have to educate ourselves," she said.
"Everyone can help," she said.