Koalas: Australia lists marsupial as endangered specieson February 11, 2022 at 1:02 am

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

The koala was not even classified as vulnerable until 2012, but it has seen a rapid decline.

A koala and her joey

Image source, Getty Images

Australia has listed the koala as an endangered species across most of its east coast, after a dramatic decline in numbers.

The once-thriving marsupial has been ravaged by land clearing, bushfires, drought, disease and other threats.

The federal government said the listing was for Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

It has been urged to do more to protect koalas from rapidly diminishing habitats and climate change.

The species was listed as “vulnerable” in those states and territory only in 2012. Despite the rapid deterioration, governments have been accused of dithering.

“This listing adds priority when it comes to the conservation of the koala,” Environment Minister Sussan Ley said on Friday.

She said officials were designing a recovery plan, and land development applications would now be assessed for impacts on the species.

Last year, a New South Wales inquiry found koalas would be extinct there by 2050 unless there was urgent action.

It estimated the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20 had killed 5,000 koalas and affected 24% of habitats in New South Wales alone.

“Koalas have gone from no-listing to vulnerable to endangered within a decade. That is a shockingly fast decline,” said conversation scientist Stuart Blanch from WWF-Australia.

“Today’s decision is welcome, but it won’t stop koalas from sliding towards extinction unless it’s accompanied by stronger laws and landholder incentives to protect their forest homes.”

Scientists warn that climate change will also exacerbate bushfires and drought, and reduce the quality of the animal’s eucalyptus leaf diet.

Koalas are also found in South Australia and Victoria but their numbers are on the decline nationally, according to conservation groups.

- Advertisement -

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

Manchester Utd v Liverpool postponed after proteston May 2, 2021 at 6:40 pm

Manchester United's game against Liverpool is postponed after about 200 fans break into Old Trafford to protest against the Glazers' ownership.Manchester United's game against...

‘We made the same mistakes as last week’ – Root despairs after second heavy defeaton December 20, 2021 at 12:59 pm

A frustrated Joe Root says England made the "same mistakes" in their defeat by Australia in the second Ashes Test.

George Galloway to be sworn in as MP for Rochdaleon March 4, 2024 at 10:56 am

The Workers Party of Britain leader swept aside a Labour majority to win Thursday's by-election.The Workers Party of Britain leader swept aside a Labour...

Samsung boss: I wouldn’t give daughter a phone until she was 11on February 3, 2023 at 1:13 pm

The firm's UK mobile head says the decision is down to parental choice and safe internet browsing is paramount.Image source, Getty ImagesThe UK boss...

Downing Street flat: Boris Johnson’s letters with standards adviser to be publishedon December 31, 2021 at 5:08 am

Labour says Boris Johnson has "made a mockery" of public standards amid a row over his Downing Street flat.Image source, EPALetters between Boris Johnson...