‘Endangered’ listing of koalas welcomed with reservations
EcoNetwork-Port Stephens has welcomed – with reservations – the Australian government’s decision to upgrade the conservation status of koalas from vulnerable to endangered in NSW, the ACT and Queensland.
“The listing finally acknowledges the dire plight of this iconic species, to which the biggest threat is habitat clearance,” said EcoNetwork president Iain Watt.
“The government’s $50 million commitment to Koala conservation and protection is also a step in the right direction, although it would seem much more funding is needed.
“According to Environment Minister Susan Ley, $47 million has been earmarked to protect and restore important koala habitat.
“This is fine, but the real test is whether government and local councils are prepared to refuse development applications that threaten to destroy koala habitat and corridors.
“While the endangered listing will lower the threshold at which a development must be assessed, it remains to be seen whether conservation commitments will be honoured.
“If the governments are serious about saving the koala from extinction, they should cease forest logging and ban the destruction of koala habitat on public and private land.”
The Australian Koala Foundation estimates a 30% decline in Koalas across Australia since 2018, with populations estimated to be between 32,065 – 57,920 down from 45,745 – 82,170 in 2018.
Further information: Iain Watt, president EcoNetwork-Port Stephens 0429 487 130.
Kathy Brown, secretary, 0422 261 057