The 2-page handout

The reading

Australia is home to some of the most amazing creatures and plant life in the world. It is famous for its diversity of species. However, scientists have just reported a "shocking" loss of biodiversity. The government has released its State of the Environment Report. It is depressing reading. The report reveals a serious decline in biodiversity, an increase in habitat loss, and increasing levels of pollution. It concludes that the condition of Australia's environment is "poor and deteriorating". Australia has been hit by drought, fires and floods in the past five years. These have killed many animals and caused the loss of natural habitat. Climate change is also harming Australia's ecosystems.

Australia publishes its State of the Environment Report every five years. Each report has painted a sadder picture. The Australian Conservation Foundation said Australia's natural environment is suffering because the government is not taking action. It said: "There's nothing in this report we don't know. This is the fourth…report and every time it has told us that the environment is getting worse and worse and worse because we're not taking the type of action we need." Australia has lost more mammal species than any other continent. More than 100 Australian species are now extinct. An environmentalist said the report was, "a wake-up call to the damage humans are doing to the world around us".



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