AboutZoos, Since 2008


The iconic Koala is set to be declared an endan­gered species

pub­lished 28 April 2012 | mod­i­fied 28 April 2012

Koalas will be listed as an endan­gered species in some areas in Aus­tralia from Mon­day 30th April 2012. The deci­sion not to list the ani­mal as an endan­gered species across the whole coun­try is because the gov­ern­ment is putting min­ing inter­ests before pro­tect­ing the mar­su­pial, accord­ing some envi­ron­men­tal groups.

Australia’s iconic ani­mal is dwin­dling because of pres­sures on its habi­tat by humans, drought and cli­mate change, together with threats as vehi­cles, dogs and the dis­ease caused by chlamy­dia. There­fore the Aus­tralian Envi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Tony Burke is expected to decide to list the national icon, the Koala, as an endan­gered species. But the rul­ing will not cover the whole of Aus­tralia, as he is expected to list koalas in South-​East Queens­land as “endan­gered” and those in east New South Wales as “vul­ner­a­ble” based on advice from the national Threat­ened Species Sci­en­tific Committee.


We are push­ing for the species to be listed as ‘crit­i­cally endan­gered’, which would mean devel­op­ers would not be able to touch one koala tree in that area

Deb­o­rah Tabart, Aus­tralian Koala Foundation »

If listed as an endan­gered species, koalas, a mar­su­pial native to Aus­tralia will get fed­eral pro­tec­tion. This would mean the gov­ern­ment could put con­di­tions on plans for new mines, hous­ing devel­op­ments and log­ging oper­a­tions to pro­tect koalas. But Deb­o­rah Tabart from the Aus­tralian Koala Foun­da­tion believes that this pro­tec­tion is not enough:“Minister Burke has already fore­shad­owed that he is not going to pro­tect koalas across the whole land­scape. Because I have been in my job for so long and I sat through the sen­ate enquiries last year, I know indus­try is afraid of a list­ing and I know they have lob­bied very hard. The log­ging indus­try, the devel­op­ment indus­try and forestry all pleaded with the sen­a­tors last year, please do not list. If Min­is­ter Burke comes out with strong pro­tec­tion for koalas then I will just retire. But, I really believe that it should be all or noth­ing and I don’t under­stand why he’s choos­ing which koalas to list and which ones he’s not going to. I think it’s going to be nonsense.”

Burke said: ”We know that koalas are under pres­sure in some parts of Aus­tralia while they are abun­dant in oth­ers. But I can’t pro­vide a blan­ket threat­ened species list­ing across Aus­tralia when there are many places where koala num­bers remain high.”

There are less than 80,000 koalas left in the wild, which are now under com­bined pres­sures of habi­tat destruc­tion and cli­mate change. Research has also sug­gested that since 1993 the num­ber of koalas in Aus­tralia have declined by 75%.

Accord­ing the news ser­vice of ‘Yahoo!7 News’ they dis­cov­ered with a Right to Infor­ma­tion inves­ti­ga­tion that rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion from the draft ver­sion of the report Koala Coast — Koala Pop­u­la­tion Report 2010 was excluded from the final ver­sion. The pre­dic­tion which said “pop­u­la­tion trends indi­cate that there will be too few koalas in the Koala Coast by 2013, to have an effec­tively func­tion­ing pop­u­la­tion” was removed from the final report. The direc­tor of Koala Pol­icy & Oper­a­tions Branch from Queens­land gov­ern­ment said the report was the inap­pro­pri­ate vehi­cle for pre­dic­tions as “…the report should con­tain no con­jec­ture about future trends, as it’s just that: sim­plis­tic con­jec­ture and unsup­ported hypoth­e­sis”. The State gov­ern­ment denies the report was manip­u­lated to cover up the outlook.

See 7 News’ news item, where they reveal their discoveries.

The above news item is reprinted from mate­ri­als avail­able at Inter­na­tional Busi­ness Times TV and TNT mag­a­zine. Orig­i­nal text may be edited for con­tent and length

(Sources: IBTimes TV, 27.04.2012; TNT­magazine, 27.04.2012; Yahoo! 7-​News, 16.04.2012)

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