The koalas could go extinct from eastern Australia by 2050 as a result of the continuous destruction of their habitats and the increasingly frequent natural disasters that plague the region, according to an official report published Tuesday that calls for greater environmental protection.
According to the studies of the ecologist Oisin Sweeney, there would be between 15 thousand and 20 thousand wild koalas in the eastern state of New south Wales, that last southern summer suffered devastating fires, although the numbers of animals are difficult to establish, points out a report by a committee of the regional senate.
“Before the fires, rangers had informed us that the koalas that were brought in to care for them were dehydrated and malnourished due to drought, heat waves and water shortages, “Cate Faehrmann, chair of the committee, told reporters.
The fires of last austral summer killed at least 5 thousand koalas according to the parliamentary report, which stresses that “the continued destruction of their habitats in favor of agriculture, development, mining, or farming has severely impacted most of koala populations for several decades. “
A dehydrated koala receives treatment at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. Photo: AFP, archive
In years prior to these forest fires Koalas were already facing a difficult situation due to periods of severe droughts and the fragmentation of their habitats by human development, according to the document to which Efe had access.
To these threats are added the impact of climate change, accidents when crossing roads, the attacks of other wild and domestic animals and the chlamydia disease, which causes injury to the genitals and eyes, causes infertility and blindness, and slowly consumes them to death.
Following the publication of the report, which made 42 recommendations, the Australian branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) called for immediate government action to amend tree clearing and logging laws in New South Wales.
A koala is killed on a busy road in Brisbane, Australia. The loss of the koalas’ natural habitat increases the risk of their extinction. Photo: AP, file
“The government of New South Wales has been unable to prevent the core of the koala habitat from being razed on private land or cut down in coastal state forests. There are no trees, there are no koalas,” Stuart Blanch, a spokesman, said in a statement. from WWF-Australia.
A WWF report released in 2018 revealed that since the Native Vegetation Act was removed in August 2017, the rate of logging It has tripled to total 8,194 hectares in the north of the aforementioned Australian state.
It also reads: How rescuers in Australia work to save koalas from fires
The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), which in the aboriginal language means “without drinking” -in reference to the fact that 90 percent of its hydration comes from the eucalyptus leaves it eats-, is endemic to Australia and is considered a vulnerable species in several territories of the country.