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Koala Officially Listed As ‘Endangered’ Species By...

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Koala endangered

Koala Officially Listed As ‘Endangered’ Species By Australia

PORT MACQUARIE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST
By Bloomberg
11 Feb 2022 0

(Bloomberg) --Australia’s koala has been officially designated an endangered species across three states and territories as habitat loss, disease and climate change cause rapid declines in populations of the iconic marsupial.

By Ben Westcott
Feb 11, 2022, 1:48 AM – Updated on Feb 11, 2022, 1:48 AM
Word Count: 370

The koala is now “endangered” in New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory, the Australian government said on Friday. Environment minister Sussan Ley said the listing highlighted “the challenges the species is facing” and pledged to work toward a national recovery plan for koalas.

NSW Works To Save The Koala As Bushfires, Habitat Loss And Disease Threaten Future Of Australia’s Iconic Animal
PORT MACQUARIE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST
Environmental groups have blamed the federal government for repeatedly failing to take action to protect the koala from extinction. There are fewer than 500,000 left in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, while the Australian Koala Foundation says the real number could be below 60,000.

Koala populations have plunged in recent years due to the clearing of their habitats for development and agriculture, while widespread chlamydia infections among adults have caused infertility and death. Climate change-related disasters have also put koalas under pressure, with more than 60,000 estimated to have died in the catastrophic 2019-20 bushfire season.

A report delivered to the New South Wales government in June 2020 found that if no additional support was given, koalas could be extinct in the state by 2050.

The Australian Conservation Foundation claimed that since the koala was declared “vulnerable” ten years ago, the federal government has approved the clearing of more than 25,000 hectares (61,800 acres) of the animals’ habitat.

“Australia’s national environment laws are so ineffective they have done little to stem the ongoing destruction of koala habitat in Queensland and NSW since the species was supposedly protected a decade ago,” ACF nature campaign manager Basha Stasak said in a statement.

The government announced A$50 million ($36 million) to protect koalas on Jan. 29, including funding for habitat protection and population monitoring, but some environmental groups said it was just a “drop in the ocean” of what was needed.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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