Barely six months after the devastating bushfires that ravaged Koala habitats, their homes are in even more danger thanks to deforestation.
2020 was heralded with the catastrophic Australian bushfires and as you know, things haven’t exactly gotten better – even for koalas.
By koalas, yes, we mean those adorable cuddly things that no one can get enough of. Those typically tired, eucalyptus munching, minding-their-own-business-doing nothing-but-being-cute mammals that have been dealt a horrible blow.
The numbers from the bushfires were calamitous, and it’s been revealed that alongside climate change, mining and urbanisation projects will lead to the likely extinction of koalas in New South Wales by 2050. The bushfires have resulted in a loss of up to 82% of Koala habitats, with over two million hectares destroyed.
Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped NSW from banning logging and deforestation in their habitats. James Tremain, from the Nature Conversation Council of NSW told Vice News that the Forestry Corporation hasn’t stopped logging their already rare habitats and that “it’s a scandal that the government isn’t doing what’s required to prevent the extinction of one of our most iconic species.”
The NSW government have said they’re implementing a koala strategy to increase and save their population, but they haven’t introduced any laws to prevent the destruction of their homes. Instead, the NSW government has promised that the same volume of timber from before the bushfires will be produced. However, if the Forestry Corporation is so intent on fulfilling this promise then NSW forests will be completely stripped bare and it will take decades to ever recover from such ruin.
Tremain also told Vice News that “unfortunately for koalas, they tend to like the same kinds of trees that loggers like—so they’re in direct competition” and that “the main extinction pressure that’s placed on koalas is habitat loss, primarily from logging for timber production or land clearing for agriculture. And although there is a desire for the government to do the right thing, there are powerful industry interests to prevent it from doing what has to be done.”
New South Wales, there is so much that needs to be done to ensure that we don’t lose our koalas and rallying the government to take appropriate steps may be the only solution.