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Koalas Will Be Driven To Extinction 'Well Before' 2050 In NSW, Inquiry Finds

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Koalas Will Be Driven To Extinction 'Well Before' 2050 In NSW, Inquiry Finds

The koala population was badly hit at the beginning of this year as bushfires swept through parts of the country.

In New South Wales, researchers estimate as much as 30 per cent of local koalas were wiped out in the infernos.

Their future now hangs in the balance with a parliamentary inquiry finding if systems aren't put in place now they could be driven to extinction by 2050.

Credit: Facebook/Koala Hospital Port Macquarie
Credit: Facebook/Koala Hospital Port Macquarie
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"Given the scale of loss as a result of the fires to many significant local populations, the committee believes the koala will become extinct in New South Wales well before 2050 and that urgent government intervention is required to protect their habitat and address all other threats to their ongoing survival," the report said.

The bushfires affected on average around 24 per cent of koala habitat, however it was as bad as 81 per cent in some areas.

However, the places these beautiful animals call home have been under threat well before the Black Summer bushfires took hold.

Climate change and deforestation have gravely affected their ability to live and breed and a state inquiry is calling for action now to protect them.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The committee said: "The report found that habitat loss and fragmentation was the biggest threat to koalas, yet at every turn we were handed evidence that showed our current laws are inadequate and facilitating the clearing of core koala habitat.

"The strategies and policies currently in place to protect the koala aren't working, like the NSW Koala Strategy, which fails in ensuring enough koala habitat is protected for the different koala populations across the state."

There have been 42 recommendations made, which include the protection of koala habitat, banning logging in old forest areas, giving farmers incentives to protect land rather than clear it and increased measures to monitor population numbers.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Animals, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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