John Woinarski

John Woinarski


Professor John Woinarski is the author of The Christmas Island pipistrelle and extinction in Australia (CSIRO Publishing, 2018), and has a long involvement in research and conservation management of Australia’s biodiversity. This book is a long-form obituary and inquest into the recent (2009) extinction of an otherwise unremarkable bat species. It contextualises this specific loss within a framework of the decline and loss of biodiversity more generally. The account includes a forensic analysis of the ecological factors that contributed to this extinction, and counterpoints this perspective with an assessment of the shortcomings in policy, management and legislation that resulted in our failing to conserve this species.  The book also explores the human dimension of extinction – paying homage especially to those who tried desperately to prevent it, but were frustrated by a bureaucracy that was far less committed to saving the species. This book is also a eulogy to a place, Christmas Island, of outstanding beauty and conservation significance, soured by its continued mismanagement since settlement. The loss of this small bat is symbolic of our insufficient care for nature and a reminder that the natural systems, on which we depend, will be increasingly subverted unless we take more responsibility for them.


All sessions by John Woinarski

Endangered: Writing to the Eleventh Hour

15 Jun 2019
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
The Chamber | Town Hall


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