Koala listed as endangered species

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The once thriving marsupial has been listed as an endangered species as Koala numbers drop drastically all along the country’s eastern seaboard. The decline is according to authorities a result of land clearing, bushfires, drought, disease and a number of other threats.

The listing by the federal government covers Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), with many believing that the authority is doing too little to protect the species from diminishing habitats and the effects of climate change.
Proof of that claim comes as the species has gone from being listed as “vulnerable” to endangered within ten years
According to Environment Minister Susan Ley: “This listing adds priority when it comes to the conservation of the koala,” however she has been accused of dithering when it comes to protecting the animal.
She said officials were designing a recovery plan, and land development applications would now be assessed for impacts on the species.
A New South Wales inquiry in 2021 found koalas would be extinct there by 2050 unless there was urgent action, with the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20 killing at least 5,000 koalas and affecting 24% of habitats in New South Wales alone.
“Koalas have gone from no-listing to vulnerable to endangered within a decade. That is a shockingly fast decline,” said conversation scientist Stuart Blanch from WWF-Australia.
“Today’s decision is welcome, but it won’t stop koalas from sliding towards extinction unless it’s accompanied by stronger laws and landholder incentives to protect their forest homes.”
Climate change will also exacerbate bushfires and drought according to scientists and could reduce the quality and availability of the animal’s eucalyptus leaf diet.
Koalas are also found in South Australia and Victoria and although they have not been listed as endangered in these parts, their numbers are on the decline nationally according to conservation groups.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.