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Koala endangered listing must push NSW Government to protect habitat

Today’s announcement that koalas will be finally listed as Endangered under the Biodiversity Conservation Act is a huge wake up call for protecting koala habitat in New South Wales.   

“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” Nature Conservation Council Deputy Chief Executive Jacqui Mumford said.  

"The reality is koalas are dwindling across New South Wales and we don’t have a proper mechanism 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.” 

“We 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”   

The NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee found: 

“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” (page 3) 

“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” (page 3) 

“Clearing of native vegetation’ is listed as a Key Threatening Process under the Act.” (page 4) 

“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” (page 4) 

“... it is facing a very high risk of extinction in the near future...” (page 5) 

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