On June 30, an official report from New South Wales, Australia, warned that the state’s koalas could become extinct by 2050,media reported. The report notes that the state’s wildfires have killed a large number of koalas and destroyed their habitat. Given the scale of the damage caused to koala populations across NSW by bushfires in 2019-2020, koalas would be extinct in 2050 without urgent government intervention to protect habitats and address other threats.
At least 5,000 koalas have been killed in the months-long forest fire, while the state’s official assessment of 36,000 koalas is not credible, the report said.
Koala habitats and koalas have been largely lost as a result of bushfires in 2019-2020, the report said. It is estimated that 24 percent of koala habitats in the state are severely affected, and even in some areas up to 81 percent of the damage.
The report also urged the NSW government to “urgently prioritize” the conservation of koala habitats in planned urban development areas and to find the “most appropriate way” to investigate koala numbers.
Other threats to kangaroos and their habitat in NSW include logging and climate change. Logging has kept their habitat from shrinking, and climate change has exacerbated other threats, such as droughts and forest fires.
Fires in Australia have caused damage to 80 per cent of koala’s natural habitat in New South Wales and Queensland, it has been reported. Koalas are facing functional extinction because of the high number of deaths and the difficulty of habitat restoration.