Animal welfare groups are urging the federal government in Australia to classify Koalas as an ‘endangered’ species as the population continues to decline.
A report commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia shows the koala population in Queensland has declined by at least 50 percent from 2001.
While populations in New South Wales have dropped between 33-61 percent in the same period, with more than 6,000 koalas being killed during the country’s ‘catastrophic’ bushfires.
WWF-Australia, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Humane Society International (HSI) are now calling for increased protection for koala’s habitats in a bid to support the species
‘A real shock’
According to SBS News, Conservation Scientist Dr. Stuart Blanch said: “What is most significant is it was only in 2012 that they were first listed in the eastern states as a vulnerable species under state and federal law, and that was a real shock to us because you can’t lose our koalas.
“These are our national icon and our cute and cuddly animal. We have gone from not being a threatened species to being listed as an endangered species on the east coast within a decade.
“I would never have thought that was possible. I never thought we would be losing them so quickly.”