A Bittersweet Win for Koalas
Friends of the Koala welcomes the federal government’s decision to up list koalas in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’.
Today’s decision follows a public inquiry supporting the tentative assessment made by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee back in June last year, that koalas are eligible for listing as endangered in eastern Australia due to population declines.
“Sadly, koala populations particularly in NSW, were already in trouble well before the 2019/2020 Black Summer bushfires” said President, Aliison Kelly.
“While we applaud the Committees decision to upgrade the listing of koalas from vulnerable to endangered, the future survival of the species is grave if urgent action is not taken to address the ongoing threats impacting remaining populations”.
Partners of Friends of the Koala, the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia (WWF-Australia) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) along with Humane Society International (HSI) submitted strong evidence to the federal government to support the nomination.
For over 35 years, Friends of the Koala have been working towards positive outcomes for koalas and their habitat. This up-listing strengthens the groups resolve to protect koala habitat and gives politicians greater powers to stop trees and critical habitat from being cleared. With fire intensity and frequency only set to increase due to climate change, further action is needed to ensure koala populations survive into the future.
“Now more than ever, every koala counts. We will continue to be their voice and call for a mortarium on excessive land clearing and development which makes koalas increasingly vulnerable to disease, dog attacks and vehicle strikes,” said Ms Kelly.