Koalas Added To Protected Species List In Australia

Koalas Named Protected Species After Sharp Drop In Numbers

Koalas have been named a protected species in Australia after statistics showed a sharp drop in the number of the animals in the country over the past two decades.

The Australian Government is to plough close to $1m into extra research, conservation and recovery projects across Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) after finding showed that the number of koalas in the wild had dropped by up to a third over the past 20 years.

Environment Minister Tony Burke confirmed that the marsupial populations in the three territories will be added to the

national protected species list.

The government has not declared koalas to be under threat in every state however, largely due to the fact that koalas are not found in Western Australian areas.

They also believe that the population in some other south-eastern areas like Victoria are abundant enough.

Burke said that while the Victorian koalas were not under threat, they were in danger of eating up their own habitat as their numbers grow.

However, Deborah Tabart, of the Australian Koala Foundation, said that the organisation would like to see all koalas better looked after in the country, and that the government was underestimating the danger that koalas faced.

"At the moment we're still of the opinion that there's not that many koalas, less than 100,000. Victoria still needs to be protected," Tabart said.

"I'm delighted with this because it is going to slow things down, but it's not going to save our koalas."

Logging severely damages the environment and habitat of the koalas, and could be considered a cause of the downward turn of their numbers.


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