Evans, Kevin: Koalas are at the centre of a perfect storm. The species is slipping away

Kevin Evans

Koalas are at the centre of a perfect storm. The species is slipping away‘, Guardian Australia, 16 January 2017

Climate change threatens koala habitat, adding to their usual problems with fire and drought. But more to the point is human destruction of habitat.

In mid-December, scientists from the University of Queensland were part of a team that found, of all developed countries on Earth, Australia was performing worst in protecting its ecoregions (areas containing broadly similar habitat). The researchers identified “crisis ecoregions” where habitat loss is greatest. A crisis ecoregion in Australia? Temperate forests.

Links to the research and to historical material about koala incidence in Australia. Nowadays, koala numbers are in decline in most areas, as forests are cleared for logging and other purposes.

Only by protecting and connecting remaining koala habitat can the government enact meaningful conservation. Everything else is tinkering round the edges. And only by demonstrating that it can effectively protect koalas can we have any confidence that the government can protect the rest of Australia’s extraordinary wildlife that doesn’t share the koala’s high profile.



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