Home Asia Koalas on course to be extinct by 2050, inquiry finds

Koalas on course to be extinct by 2050, inquiry finds

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Koalas are on track to become extinct in the wild in NSW by 2050 if the destruction of their habitat doesn’t stop.This season’s devastating bushfires fires destroyed almost a quarter of their habitat on public land in the state.But a year-long NSW parliamentary inquiry found they were suffering even before that.The government says it is hard to put an exact figure on the population right now, but it could be as few as 12,000.“Without urgent government intervention, the koala will become extinct in New South Wales before 2050,” Greens member Cate Faehrmann told reporters.“This is extremely concerning, of course, to everybody who cares about koalas and, indeed, from what we heard, during the inquiry, of course, that’s pretty much everybody in New South Wales and across the world.”The committee, made up of MPs from the Greens, Animal Justice, Labor and Liberal parties, said the loss or fragmentation of forests that host the animals were driving the decline.“What we’re hearing before the bushfires was incredibly concerning in relation to how much koalas numbers were declining, and before the bushfires we heard reports from wildlife carers that koalas were coming into their care who were dehydrated, that were malnourished, because of the drought and because of heatwaves and water shortages,” Ms Faehrmann said.“So there was already serious concerns regarding the koalas in New South Wales.”She said the bushfires hit and further “decimated” the fragile population.“One of the significant findings of this report is that habitat loss and fragmentation poses the most serious threat to koala populations,” she said.“The koala’s future in New South Wales cannot be guaranteed unless the Government does more to protect their habitat.”The committee made 42 recommendations. They include building things like overpasses on busy roads where koalas are being hit by cars often and creating spaces where they can be protected through national parks.The NSW Premier was asked this morning if she was open to putting in more protections for koalas by creating more habitats.She said the government has already made record investments and that she hopes to be the Premier to save koalas in New South Wales.
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