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Thousands of Koalas Killed in Bushfires

Written by Aksel Ritenis

Thousands of Koalas Killed in Bushfires

Up to 30 per cent of koalas on NSW mid-north coast could have perished in bushfires

It has been estimated that Up to 30 per cent of koalas on the NSW mid-north coast region could have been killed in the recent bushfires, according to Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley.

The majority of the state’s koalas, which are numbered at 15,000 to 28,000, live in the region, meaning that more than 8,000 koalas may have perished.

Ms Ley who was interviewed on  ABC Radio’s AM last week admitted that  “It may well be up to 30 per cent of the population in that region (were killed) because up to 30 percent of their habitat has been destroyed,” 

“We’ll know more when the fires have calmed down and a proper assessment can be made.”

Ms Ley said the government had allocated a $6 million budget which will build koala corridors and reintroduce hospitalised koalas to their habitat.

“The koala is one of our most iconic species,” she said.

It came as environmental organisation Aussie Ark said NSW was in a “wildlife state of emergency.”

“Substantial investments have been seen by governments in firefighting, national parks and the protection of private properties and infrastructure. This is where the focus has been,” Aussie Ark president Tim Faulkner said on Friday.

“Nobody has declared a native wildlife crisis, yet that is exactly what it is – a native wildlife state of emergency. So much has been lost already and it won’t come back without help,” he said.

“What is needed is a mass upscaling of initiatives and projects that directly impact wild native wildlife.”

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher Sydney Times