Politics

Koalas listed as endangered species across NSW, Queensland and ACT


The fight is on to save an Australian icon.

Koalas are now an officially an “endangered” species in NSW, Queensland and ACT after the federal government upgraded their status from “vulnerable.”

Watch the video above for more on koalas becoming ‘endangered’

The much-loved marsupials’ population has plummeted in those states over recent years and they are now at serious risk of being wiped out.

“Today I am increasing the protection for koalas in NSW, the ACT and Queensland listing them as endangered rather than their previous designation of vulnerable,” Environment Minister Sussan Ley said on Friday.

PORT MACQUARIE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 29: A koala named Pete from Pappinbarra at The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on November 29, 2019 in Port Macquarie, Australia. Volunteers from the Koala Hospital have been working alongside National Parks and Wildlife Service crews searching for koalas following weeks of devastating bushfires across New South Wales and Queensland. Koalas rescued from fire grounds have been brought back to the hospital for treatment. An estimated million hectares of land has been burned by bushfire across Australia following catastrophic fire conditions in recent weeks, killing an estimated 1000 koalas along with other wildlife. (Photo by Nathan Edwards/Getty Images)
PORT MACQUARIE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 29: A koala named Pete from Pappinbarra at The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on November 29, 2019 in Port Macquarie, Australia. Volunteers from the Koala Hospital have been working alongside National Parks and Wildlife Service crews searching for koalas following weeks of devastating bushfires across New South Wales and Queensland. Koalas rescued from fire grounds have been brought back to the hospital for treatment. An estimated million hectares of land has been burned by bushfire across Australia following catastrophic fire conditions in recent weeks, killing an estimated 1000 koalas along with other wildlife. (Photo by Nathan Edwards/Getty Images) Credit: Nathan Edwards/Getty Images

An endangered listing recognises that a species is at high risk of extinction.

“The impact of prolonged drought, followed by the black summer bushfires, and the cumulative impacts of disease, urbanisation and habitat loss over the past twenty years have led to the advice,” Ms Ley added.

Minister Ley wants Queensland, NSW and Victoria to sign up to a national recovery plan worth AU$50 million over four years.

The federal government believes the endangered listing will highlight and help address threats to koala populations.

“We are taking unprecedented action to protect the koala, working with scientists, medical researchers, veterinarians, communities, states, local governments and Traditional Owners,” Ms Ley said.

Feral predators and land clearing for development are known to be the biggest koala-killers.

The 2019-20 bushfire crisis and the drought that followed has also contributed to a rapid decline in population.

KANGAROO ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 08: An injured koala rests in a washing basket at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park in the Parndana region on January 08, 2020 on Kangaroo Island, Australia. The Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park positioned on the edge of the fire zone has been treating and housing close to 30 koala's a day. Almost 100 army reservists have arrived in Kangaroo Island to assist with clean up operations following the catastrophic bushfire that killed two people and burned more than 155,000 hectares on Kangaroo Island on 4 January. At least 56 homes were also destroyed. Bushfires continue to burn on the island, with firefighters pushing to contain the blaze before forecast strong winds and rising temperatures return. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
KANGAROO ISLAND, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 08: An injured koala rests in a washing basket at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park in the Parndana region on January 08, 2020 on Kangaroo Island, Australia. The Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park positioned on the edge of the fire zone has been treating and housing close to 30 koala’s a day. Almost 100 army reservists have arrived in Kangaroo Island to assist with clean up operations following the catastrophic bushfire that killed two people and burned more than 155,000 hectares on Kangaroo Island on 4 January. At least 56 homes were also destroyed. Bushfires continue to burn on the island, with firefighters pushing to contain the blaze before forecast strong winds and rising temperatures return. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images) Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

In 2020, a NSW parliamentary inquiry warned the marsupial would likely become extinct before the middle of the century without urgent intervention.

Queensland koala populations were found to have at least halved since 2001 because of drought, fires and deforestation.

– With AAP



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

close