Without significant tree cover, dry and dusty landscapes can result.
A new petition is urging state and federal governments to rein in Australia's rampant land clearing, which worsens the risk of bushfires and threatens to undo the work of the Emissions Reduction Fund.
Koalas can adapt to urban areas with enough suitable green spaces but would benefit from wildlife crossing areas to reduce their risk of being hit by cars.
Koalas can cope with the stresses of city life provided we plan urban developments in ways that help meet their basic needs.
Farmers are protesting changes to Queensland’s land use laws.
Queensland's new land-clearing laws are a huge missed opportunity.
Rocks being removed to make way for farming.
Across large ares of Australia, rocky outcrops are being obliterated to open up more land for farming. But many of these "bush rocks" are refuges for fragile ecosystems.
Vegetation ‘thinning’ in Queensland - a practice that was originally designed to restore forests and woodlands to a ‘representative state’.
Queensland's new draft land-clearing laws aim to put the brakes on years of environmental destruction. But the bill contains several loopholes that are likely to stymie progress.
Land clearing, as seen here in a property near St George, Queensland, does not trigger Australia’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act.
Australia's federal environment laws are inadequate to halt Australia's alarming rates of land clearing and species loss. A more robust set of laws are urgently needed.
A chain used for land clearing is dragged over a pile of burning wood on a drought effected property near St George, Queensland.
AP Image/Dan Peled
The failed attempt to reinstate land clearing regulations in Queensland has prompted 'panic clearing', pushing Australia into the global top-ten deforesters.
Land clearing is once again on the rise in Queensland.
AAP Image/Dan Peled
The outgoing Threatened Species Commissioner has downplayed the importance of land clearing as a threat to Australia's plants and animals. But it's the biggest threat, and magnifies the others too.
The complete ban on burning peatlands, while effective in reducing forest and land fires, may in the long run harm the local agriculture industry.
Zero-burning policy could hurt small-holder farmers. The ban on the use of fire for land clearing has raised the costs to prepare their land for planting and to keep it pest-free.
This quenda seems to have been a victim of land clearing.
More than 50 million birds, mammals and reptiles are thought to be killed each year in New South Wales and Queensland by the removal of native vegetation, and planning laws are failing to protect them.
A ‘thinned’ landscape, which provides far from ideal habitat for many species.
Legal vegetation 'thinning' is contributing to high rates of land clearing, potentially causing problems for threatened species and ecosystems.
The Simien mountains in Ethiopia are one of the world’s most threatened natural heritage sites.
Simien mountains image from www.shutterstock.com
You'd hope we wouldn't flatten the pyramids to build a highway. But that's exactly what's happening to the world's natural heritage sites.
Cleared habitat in Niassa Reserve, Mozambique.
Since 1992, an area of land two-thirds the size of Australia has been converted to human use.
Storm season in the Australian tropical savanna.
Australia's Great Northern Savannas are the largest and most intact ecosystem of their kind on Earth. But they still face pressure from grazing, mining and agricultural expansion.
Increasing land clearing could leave Australia hotter and drier.
Here's another reason to stop land clearing: it's making Australia hotter and drier.
Snow leopards are just one of the species still threatened by hunting.
Climate change gets a lot of the spotlight when it comes to saving wildlife. But bigger threats remain.
Farmers protest tightened land-clearing laws in Brisbane.
Moves to tighten land-clearing laws in Queensland and New South Wales have been met with outrage from farmers. So how can we get regulation right?
Banksia woodlands are home to thousands of plant species.
The Banksia woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain are home to thousands of species, many unique. But they are gradually being swallowed by Perth, one of the world's most sprawling cities.
Victoria’s wildflowers: best enjoyed up close.
Victoria's volcanic plains offer fertile ground for grasslands teeming with wildflowers. But that same fertility has also made the plains a tempting target for grazers and growers, and developers too.
Clearing in Queensland.
Kerry Trapnell/The Wilderness Society
Back and forth over land-clearing laws has left landowners confused and native forests vulnerable.