According to the Australian Koala Foundation, the number of Koala Bears, the country’s national emblem of biodiversity, has decreased by 30% in the last three years. Natural disasters such as droughts, deforestation, and bushfires were the primary causes of this reduction.
According to the non-profit organization, the koala population has plummeted from 80,000 in 2018 to fewer than 58,000 this year, with the greatest decline in the state observed in New South Wales, where numbers have dropped by 41%.
“The decreases are pretty significant,” said Deborah Tabart, Chair of the Australian Koala Foundation.
According to Tabart, the sharp drop in New South Wales is expected to be hastened by swaths of forest fires that ravaged a number of wilds in late 2019 and early 2020. Some of these locations were already deficient in koalas or had none at all.
“What we’re concerned about is regions like western New South Wales, where the drought has simply had this cumulative impact of river systems entirely dry for years, river red gums, which are the lifeblood of koalas, dead,” she told Reuters.
Tabart, who is calling for stricter Koala conservation legislation in Australia, noticed that there were no rising trends in Koala populations anywhere in the country. Only one location in the research was believed to have more than 5,000 koalas, with some places having as few as five or ten.
“I just believe that action is now required. I understand that it may appear to be an unending narrative of famine and disaster, but these numbers are correct. They’re most likely worse “Reuters was informed by Tabart.
Meanwhile, the Australian government solicited public feedback in June on a national recovery plan for disaster-affected areas like New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory around Canberra.
The government also polled the public on whether the koala’s threatened species category should be upgraded from “vulnerable” to “endangered.” The deadline for comments on the recovery plan is Friday.