The number of bogong moths found in caves across the Australian Alps has decreased by the millions.
- The decline in numbers is due to a lack in rainfall; the region needs enough rain for vegetation to grow sufficiently to feed the caterpillars.
- The region has seen some of the biggest rainfall reductions across the country.
- In 16 out of the last 18 years winter rainfall in south eastern Australia has been below average.
- Current projections estimate the region will see a further 20% decline in rainfall by 2100.
- Disappearance of the bogong moth will impact other wildlife, particularly the critically endangered pygmy possum that relies on them for food.
- Victoria has the highest number of threatened species of all states/territories in Australia.
What can be done?
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* We aim to keep our material as accurate and as relevant as possible. Working with climate science, a field that is being constantly updated, keeps us on our toes. Information on this site was gathered on June 1 2019; if you notice information that needs updating please let us know. For the full reference list please see the following.
CSIRO, “State of the Climate.”6.
Peter Jacobs & Gillian Anderson, “Australian Alps Climate Futures,” (Canberra: Australian National University, 2016).3.
Graham Readfearn, “Decline in bogong moth numbers leaves mountain pygmy possums starving,” The Guardian, published February 25, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/25/decline-in-bogong-moth-numbers-leaves-pygmy-mountain-possums-starving
Comissioner for Environmental Sustainability Victoria, “Interim Victorian State of the Environment Report 2018,” (Melbourne: Victoria State Government, 2018).21.