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Australia Losing its Iconic Koala, Government Inquiry Finds

The koala is under serious threat, according to a new report by an Australian Parliamentary inquiry into the status of the iconic animal’s population.

Following a lengthy investigation, the official report released a few days ago paints a bleak picture, indicating that koala numbers are in free fall, with few exceptions.  “Declines of 80 per cent in some areas and even localised extinctions in other areas have been documented.”

Like another famous Australian marsupial, the kangaroo, the koala carries its baby in a pouch for several months after birth. It spends most of its life in eucalyptus trees, feeding on leaves.

Multitude of Threats

Habitat degradation is seen as the primary cause of koala declines, as well as a multitude of other threats, including habitat loss, urban development, disease, motor vehicles, mining, logging, drought, bush fires and dog attacks.

National monitoring, habitat mapping and a call for the establishment of protected habitat areas were listed as part of the 19 recommendations made by the Senate’s Environment and Communications References Committee, to halt what it says is a nationwide decline in koala numbers.

Cheyne Flanagan, supervisor of the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, says: “koalas are in such a terrible state across the country, because where koalas want to live, is where people want to live.”

The Federal Government is expected to announce before the end of the year whether it will list the koala as a nationally threatened species.

 

 

Australian filmmaker Susan Kelly is an accredited video journalist with an environmental focus.

Kelly holds advanced degrees in Sociology, Journalism and Interactive Multimedia, and a project shortlist includes work for various organisations — SkyNews, ABC, CNN, National Geographic and the United Nations.

Kelly’s first independent documentary film, Koala Hospital, presents an unusual wide-angle look at the surprising life of urban koalas, set at the world’s first koala hospital. Watch the clip below for a preview of Koala Hospital.


Related:

Koala Groups Face Extinction Due to Changing Forests

Australia’s Koala Population Plummets

 

Comments

  1. heidi
    australia
    September 3, 2012, 1:22 am

    How can we save the koalas? by saving ourselves through saving the forests…. your forests and ours. Were all needing to help ourselves and each other through protective actions and replanting around current forests….

  2. [...] Species, National Geographic reports that populations of the furry marsupials in Australia are decreasing due to habitat loss and degradation, disease, mining, and logging, to name just a [...]

  3. [...] Species, National Geographic reports that populations of the furry marsupials in Australia are decreasing due to habitat loss and degradation, disease, mining, and logging, to name just a [...]

  4. kelsey
    Northern California
    April 26, 2012, 6:54 pm

    Is there any way to adopt a koala bear…or help them out in any way? watching these animals in pain hurts my heart and weighs heavy on my mind. I love nature and all of its creatures which inhabit it. We need to help!

  5. Debbie Eiler
    United States
    April 20, 2012, 7:02 pm

    Is there anything we can do to help save the koalas?

  6. [...] to National Geographic, a recent report issued by the Australian government noted that koala populations were decreasing and the animals had been deemed [...]

  7. [...] to National Geographic, a recent report issued by the Australian government noted that koala populations were decreasing and the animals had been deemed [...]

  8. [...] to National Geographic, a recent report issued by the Australian government noted that koala populations were decreasing and the animals had been deemed [...]

  9. Kathryn rose
    October 17, 2011, 5:43 pm

    holy crap! kolas r my favortie animals ever!!!! why must they be endangered!!! :(

  10. [...] Australia Losing its Iconic Koala, Government Inquiry Finds – News Watch [...]

  11. William
    ksa
    October 2, 2011, 10:28 am

    A lovable bear. I love it!

  12. Kathy Foley
    United States
    October 1, 2011, 3:57 pm

    I love Nat Geo Wild Channel, best ever, for an avid animal lover. Recently, they had a series called Miracle Babies. People devoted 24 hours a day to bring back animals that are on the brink of extinction. One of the episodes were baby Koalas. The seriousness of this is that I remember only a handful of nearly extinct animals. This series shows species from all over the world on the verge. Kudos to Nat Geo for airing this dedicated, selfless acts of total commitment from the people saving the species from extinction.

  13. isabel lopez maceiras
    September 29, 2011, 5:09 pm

    I LOVE ANIMALS, KOALA IS FANTASTIC,IS VERY GOOD,THIS DOCUMENTAL-