08/27/2008 - A study has identified 40 per cent of Australia - 3 million square kilometres - as the largest intact wilderness on Earth, ranking in quality with the Amazon forest, Antarctica and the Sahara desert.
"Few Australians realise the extent and quality of their own wilderness," said Barry Traill, a wildlife ecologist who co-authored the study identifying 12 regions of Australia that "remain almost completely untouched by humans."
"As the world's last great wilderness areas disappear under pressure from human impact, to have a continent with this much remaining wilderness intact is unusual and globally significant," Dr. Traill said.
The study, which will be made public today, was conducted by international conservation organisations the Pew Environment Group and The Nature Conservancy, which joined forces to scan the world for the last great wilderness areas.
Read the full article Wild About Us: Untouched Land Equal to Amazon on the Sydney Morning Herald Web site.