Koala Habitats That Survived Summer's Bushfires Are Now Being Logged
About six months ago, the world was watching in horror as large swathes of Australia were being burnt to a crisp in some of the worst bushfires in decades.
Billions of animals were wiped out over summer and many were heartbroken to see images of koalas in tiny casts being treated for terrifying burns.
Now that the threat of fire has eased, koalas are now facing a new threat: logging.
Arborist and conservationist Kailas Wild has teamed up with Nature NSW to highlight how logging companies have started targeting areas that survived the summer bushfires.
Sadly, that remaining territory is also loved by koalas and they're getting caught up in the operations.
Kai says state-owned logging agency Forestry Corporation has been logging unburnt koala habitat for months in northern New South Wales and it's unclear what impact this is having on the surviving koala population.
"I went to Lower Bucca State Forest because I knew this was happening and I believe if people see this, they'll do what they can to help keep koalas safe," he said.
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He's calling on the state government to halt all operations until they can get a clearer picture of how many koalas there are in the area and whether they can be moved to another location or if a moratorium needs to be put in place to prevent further logging.
Kai has told Vice News: "The fact that there's just been no pause or stocktake from the NSW Government to be like 'let's just see whether this is going to cause impact' is worrying.
"These bushfires completely changed the game. I've seen with my own eyes the old growth forest that fires completely obliterated, and the habitat that no longer exists, and it's really shifted and increased the value of these native forests."
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.
"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.
Featured Image Credit: Nature NSW