Will Australia have to kiss some species goodbye?

Goodbye, Gouldian Finch.  So long, Orange-bellied Parrot.  Fare thee well, Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat.

And while we're at it, let's say arrivederci to New Zealand's Kakapo and Indonesia's Javan Rhino.

  Bye-bye birdy?  A kaleidoscope of Gouldian Finches.

Bye-bye birdy?  A kaleidoscope of Gouldian Finches.

All are critically endangered species, balanced precariously on the edge of survival.  According to some of Australia's top ecologists, including ALERT member Corey Bradshaw, we might have to let them fall into the abyss.

The hotly debated issue of biological triage was the focus of ABC's Lateline TV show last night.  In it, Bradshaw and others argued that, given thin resources and too many endangered species, we may have to give up on some species altogether.

It's not a topic most biologists or conservationists want to think about, but Bradshaw and colleagues say it is time we had the debate. 

It's a tough issue.  Many endangered species have a coterie of dedicated people who've devoted years of their lives to rescuing them.  Such folks don't want to hear that it's all for naught.

Bradshaw has raised this issue before, in 2011, generating a mushroom-cloud of controversy that reverberated around the world

Whatever your views, given the rapidly changing state of the world, it's pretty clear this won't be the last time we'll be forced to confront this issue.