When we think of Australian wildlife, we probably immediately think of kangaroos or koalas.
However, when it comes to the koala population of Australia, there has been a very “dramatic” decline in their numbers over the last five years. In fact, it is estimated that their population has declined by 30%!
According to the Australian Koala Foundation, this rapid decline can be attributed to a number of different factors, such as drought and deforestation, and, of course, bushfires.
All these things have led to the total number of koalas falling from 80,000 in 2018 to just 58,000 as of this year.
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According to a report by Reuters, koala numbers have been falling across all regions of the country, with some areas only having as few as 10 koala species left!
New South Wales has seen the most rapid decrease of koalas since its population in the state has gone down as much as 41% in the past three years.
Following the release of a population study on September 21, the chair for the Australian Koala Foundation, Deborah Tabart, called the declines in numbers “quite dramatic,” according to Reuters. Following the harrowing stats, Tabart asked that the Australian government pass a law that will help to protect koala habitats from any potential manmade interference or destruction.
Tabart stated, “I just think action is now imperative. I know that it can just sound like this endless story of dearth and destruction, but these figures are right. They’re probably worse. What we’re concerned about is places like western New South Wales where the drought over the last ten years has just had this cumulative effect – river systems completely dry for years, river red gums, which are the lifeblood of koalas, dead.”
She added, “I think everyone gets it, we’ve got to change. But if those bulldozers keep working, then I really fear for the koalas.”
Currently, the Australian government is thinking about proposals that would provide a nationwide “recovery plan” to help preserve the koala populations of New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Canberra Territory.
This could also see some of the Koala species be upgraded from “vulnerable” status, to “endangered.” Hopefully, the Australian government will be able to work with conservationists to help save the decimated koala species.Whizzco