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Success! Some Koala Populations Now Officially Protected in Australia

Success! Some Koala Populations Now Officially Protected in Australia

 

Did you know that koalas have one of the highest extinction rates in the world?

“Their diminishing numbers are attributed to a number of causes,” explains Care2 member Jennifer Perrine, “including mining, logging, coal-seam-gas exploration, and broad-scale land clearance. In each of these cases, politicians have turned a blind eye as developers threaten the long-term survival of koalas.”

Now, it seems politicians in Australia are finally paying a little more attention to these fuzzy marsupials. Environmental Minister Tony Burke has listened to advice from Care2 members and the national Threatened Species Scientific Committee, and next week he is expected to grant koalas extra federal government protection in certain regions of Australia.

Koalas will now be listed as “vulnerable” in Queensland, and as “endangered” in east New South Wales. Any new development project will be subject to conditions to protect koalas and their habitat.

Thank you, Care2 members, for your support!

However, the battle is not over yet. Australian Greens and environmental advocates claim that this legislation has not gone nearly far enough in helping save these charming creatures. It is estimated that there are only between 80,000 and 100,000 koalas left in the wild.

“Minister Burke has already foreshadowed that he is not going to protect koalas across the whole landscape,” asserts Deborah Tabart, the chief executive of the Australian Koala Foundation. “Because I have been in my job for so long and I sat through the senate inquiries last year, I know industry is afraid of a listing and I know they have lobbied very hard. The logging industry, the development industry and forestry all pleaded with the senators last year, please do not list.”

Environmentalists are especially concerned about koalas in Gunnedah, the “koala capital of the world.” Research has shown a 75% drop in koala numbers since 1993. However, this is not an area where koalas will be specially protected.

Minister Burke defended himself by saying, “We know that koalas are under pressure in some parts of Australia while they are abundant in others. But I can’t provide a blanket threatened species listing across Australia when there are many places where koala numbers remain high.”

This is a critical moment; we must keep pushing to help save this unique species and bring koalas back from the brink of distinction.

 

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107 comments

+ add your own
7:23AM PDT on Sep 22, 2012

Thank goodness for some good news. Now we need an avalanche to protect all Koalas.

3:39PM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

It's a start.

6:02PM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

Why only some?

11:00PM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

Thank You.

9:07AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Glad to hear that something is being done to save these animals.

5:00PM PDT on May 25, 2012

Good to know! :)

5:34PM PDT on May 4, 2012

I agree, thank you Tony Burke for listening and finally realizing that our country's icon is worth saving from being threatened to non extinction . It should be in all States and Territories all so hopefully that is their next step.

3:24PM PDT on May 4, 2012

Such wonderful fuzzy marsupials, these Koala's are, and they should be protected !!
Thank you Tony Burke for listening and trying your best to have all koala's under protection.

2:06PM PDT on May 4, 2012

It's about time!

1:03PM PDT on May 4, 2012

Great!

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