Koalas could be extinct in New South Wales before 2050 “without urgent government intervention”, new research has found.
A parliamentary inquiry into the NSW’s koala population and habitats – which can be viewed here – revealed some devastating projections, stating that proactive measures need to be considered urgently in order to ensure the longevity of the koala population within the state.
“Given the scale of loss as a result of the fires to many significant local populations,” the inquiry states, “the committee believes the koala will become extinct in New South Wales well before 2050 and that urgent Government intervention is required to protect their habitat and address all other threats to their ongoing survival.”
It’s no secret that the 2019-2020 bushfires left a devastating impact on the population – at the end of last year, Australian Environment Minister Sussan Ley stated that around 30% of the NSW koala population had likely perished in the fires.
But the latest inquiry has revealed some further statistics in the aftermath of the fires: “An estimated 24 per cent of koala habitat on public land has been severely impacted across the State, but in some parts there has been a devastating loss of up to 81 per cent.”
A plethora of other factors – climate change and drought, logging, mining, land clearing and the expansion urban areas – have also been cited as major issues when considering the drastic decrease in NSW’s koala population.
The report has urged the NSW Government to prioritise the protection of the koala population, and ” fund and support local councils to conserve koala habitat.”