Koalas are in rapid decline across Australia, with 30% of iconic species lost in just three years, according to the Australian Koala Foundation.
The marsupial population declined in all parts of Australia – there was no increasing trend.
Figures released by the foundation on Monday show a three-year drop of up to 41% in NSW and ACT, 37% in Queensland, 31% in South Africa and 16% in Victoria.
Australia’s koala populations are estimated to be between 32,065 and 57,920, up from 45,745 to 82,170 in 2018.
AKF President Deborah Tabart said urgent action was needed to stop clearing in the koala’s primary habitat.
She hoped that Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley “would continue her work to protect koala habitat.”
“The terrible bushfires of 2019-2020 of course contributed to this result, however, they are certainly not the only reason we are seeing koala populations in decline,” she said in a statement.
“Land clearing is deadly for koala populations. Over the last few years we have seen huge land clearings, especially throughout New South Wales and South East Queensland, for agriculture, property development and mining, ”he said. she declared.
The AKF tracks populations with the Koala Habitat Atlas and estimates the number of koalas in each of the 128 federal electorates that have, or have had, koalas since white colonization.
The figures show that the koala is extinct in 47 electorates and only one, in the South Australian electorate of Mayo, has more than 5,000.
Some areas have remaining populations estimated at only five to ten koalas.
Ms Tabart said every federal politician in those electorates has been challenged to protect not only the koalas in their electorate, but also their habitat.
“We have seen a drastic decrease in populations inland due to drought, heat waves and lack of water for the koalas to drink. I’ve seen landscapes that look like the moon – with dead and dying trees everywhere, ”she said.
“We need a koala protection law now,” she said.