The Wild Animals of Australia

A Creed For Nature Lovers

I believe:
That, because the Australian continent fostered all the fascinating furred animals, birds and flowers that awaited the coming of civilization, our land must remain their everlasting sanctuary.
That, because the forests and trees supply food and shelter for the birds, and unique marsupials like the Koala, such forests should not be destroyed without adequate reason and due replacement.
That wildflowers should only be gathered with that appreciative care due to living things of exquisite scent and beauty.
That the nests of birds, built with such patient devotion, should never be destroyed in thoughtless curiosity; that their eggs should be left to bring forth lovely feathered songsters; that the rifling of their homes is no less a crime than theft from our own.
That enjoyment of the living plants and animals will provide a more lasting and universal source of pleasure and education than collecting their remains, save in the course of science, and for exhibitions which increase knowledge and the love of nature.
That we should not destroy living things that are harmless to us, as we hope to avoid harmful things ourselves; that even harmful creatures should be controlled with due regard for their zoological heritage and right to survive.
That any wholesale sacrificing of native animals for monetary gain, in a country so rich in resources of grain, stock, and minerals, is a confession of incompetence and wasteful greed, unworthy of the Australian Commonwealth.
That, because ancient Australian isolation evolved the gentlest and least harmful of furred animals the world can ever know, they must be conserved with benevolent care and receive adequate sanctuary for their future survival, subject only to the vital economic needs of man.
Prompted by evidences of the appalling wastage of fauna and flora during the period of civilized settlement of Australia, this was written for the Australian Museum Magazine in 1936, two years before the 150th Anniversary of colonization.
It is reprinted to epitomize the urgent need for a sympathetic, unselfish, and constructive approach to the problem of providing adequate protection, sanctuaries, and national parks to avert the approaching extinction of many more of the ancient inhabitants of our adopted land.

Ellis Troughton in “Furred Animals of Australia”, Angus and Robertson, 1941.