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Byron Shire
July 6, 2022

Bittersweet announcement about koalas

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This little tree faerie is now listed as ‘Endangered’. Photo Tree Faerie.

Bitter in its necessity and sweet in the action it might prompt, it has been announced today that koalas have been listed as Endangered under the Biodiversity Conservation Act.  

Nature Conservation Council Deputy Chief Executive Jacqui Mumford said the devastating endangered listing of koalas comes as no surprise in a state where the government refuses to protect habitat. ‘Koala numbers have been in freefall for years and the NSW Government must act immediately to protect their habitat.

Koalas are dwindling

Ms Mumford said the reality is that koalas are dwindling across New South Wales and there are no proper mechanisms to protect their habitat. ‘If you want to save koalas you have to protect their trees. It is not complex. But koala habitat continues to be destroyed because of weak government policy that prioritises land clearance for grazing, agriculture, urbanisation, timber harvesting and mining.

‘The recently released NSW Koala Strategy was inadequate for protecting the species and we are seriously lacking a state-wide mechanism to bring this iconic species back to a healthy population. Any party looking to lead NSW into the future needs to have this as a commitment.’

The NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee found that:

• Human activities including deforestation and land clearance for grazing, agriculture, urbanisation, timber harvesting, mining and other activities have resulted in loss, fragmentation and degradation of koala habitats.

• Large areas of forest and woodland within the koala’s range were cleared between 2000 and 2017 (Ward et al. 2019) with clearing for grazing accounting for most of this loss of koala habitat”. “Land clearing continues to impact habitat across the koala’s range.

• Clearing of native vegetation’ is listed as a Key Threatening Process under the Act.

• Modelled climatic suitability from 2010 to 2030 indicates a 38-52% reduction in available habitat for the koala and a 62% reduction in koala habitat by 2070 has been forecast.

• [the koala]… is facing a very high risk of extinction in the near future.

Ban the destruction of koala habitat

Ms Mumford said the Nature Conservation Council are calling on the NSW Government to immediately ban the destruction of koala habitat, on both public and private land; end native forest logging, and expand the National Parks estate to protect high quality koala habitat including the proposed Great Koala National Park.’ 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. And so it goes . Sitting back doing nothing watching the extinction of an iconic precious native species. Using tax payers money to fund state forestry to blantantly butcher the last of the last old growth forest. Treating the native forest like a farm. A 30 to 40 year cycle that takes all the big koala food trees and leaves the weedy fast growing black butts. Only good for woodchip. Koalas can’t eat black butts. Black butt makes the forest a bush fire hazard. Like the castrophe we had only two short years ago. Are people that stupid that they’ve forgotten . . No value adding there = less jobs for forestry workers. No economic sense in it. No money to be made. Just a mean nasty political statement. That’s the only reason why the federal and state gov do it. To figuratively kick the radical tree huggers in the bum. That’s the only reason why they do it. There’s votes in it. No money to be made in it. No profit . It gets chipped and sent overseas for a pittance. It operates at a loss and we pay the difference. Taxpayers . Not the permanent gov Dept managers and politicians who’s wages we pay. They don’t lose a cent . They make the decisions but the workers pay for it. The loss of jobs in skilled forestry workers. No plantations to employ local workers. No value adding , making classy wood products here . Look at IKEA , from Sweden . We could be doing that to from PLANTATION FORESTS. Just like they do . And leave the old growth forest alone to nurture the last precious native wildlife . What a waste. It’s all a waste. Our grand children will look back and wonder why we were so stupid and gullible to do nothing . Just watch and sit and do nothing .

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