CBS News: Koala Extinction in NSW by 2050

July 1, 2020

Sydney Morning Herald:

A year-long NSW parliamentary inquiry has found koalas are on track to become extinct in the wild in NSW well before 2050 without urgent intervention to stop the destruction of their habitat.

The inquiry’s report, released on Tuesday, found previous estimates of 36,000 of the marsupials in the state were most likely outdated not least because they omitted the effects of the 2019-20 bushfires.

The fires destroyed almost a quarter of the koala habitat on public land, with some areas reporting “a devastating loss of up to 81 per cent”.

“The committee agrees with evidence that koalas were tracking to become extinct by 2050 before the bushfires,” the inquiry concluded. “The committee expresses its sadness and concern for the once-thriving Pilliga population, which has become extinct over the last decade.”

The committee, made up of MPs from the Greens, Animal Justice, Labor and Liberal parties, said the loss or fragmentation of forests that host the animals were driving the much-loved species’ decline.

“[To their] detriment, koalas like many of the same things that humans do, such as fertile soils, moderate temperatures and forests,” the report noted.

Among its 16 findings was that the Berejiklian government needed to take stronger action to guarantee koalas’ survival in the wild. Climate change was already “having a severe impact on koala populations”, in part by affecting the nutritional quality of the eucalyptus leaves they feed on.


10 Responses to “CBS News: Koala Extinction in NSW by 2050”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    Koalas are so damn cute—-I would have enjoyed getting close up to one sometime.

    But in the greater scheme of things, they are just one more localized herbivore that will hardly be missed on a planet that has many. How AUS can worry about them but not about the damage to so many other livings things caused by the pollution from all that COAL it sells is beyond me—-hypocrisy? stupidity? cognitive dissonance?

    Of course, the extinctions we SHOULD be worrying about are those of the littler critters that are at the base of all life on Earth—-the bacteria, fungi, insects (especially pollinators) on up to the amphibians, small birds, and mammals, to say nothing of the vast (and mostly unknown) web of life in the oceans.

    OT but interesting: Researchers have recently stated that they have found plastic particles (“dust”) in EVERY sample of dust they have taken over the Entire planet. They are mainly of the PM 2.5 size that is most dangerous to health. Don’t throw away your masks if and when the covid pandemic abates.

    • Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

      The bright side is, that maintaining the habitat environment of higher mammals, protects all those below by default. Apart from that, all else is correct.
      The other crap is due to a RW government elected by uniformed, or uncaring and stupid electors. Whats your excuse?

      PM = pico metres?

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        PM = pico metres?

        Particulate matter ~2.5 microns (μm).

        Chai Jin’s excellent talk Under the Dome (2015) included a problem of the PM 2.5 particulate levels in China.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        As RWG said, PM = “particulate matter”, and the 2.5 means 2.5 micro meters or smaller in size. These are the small particles of soot from wildfires and diesel exhaust, dust from hard rock mining, and misc. bits of other unnatural materials that get deep into the lungs and cause illness.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      For environmentalists, koalas fall under the term “charismatic megafauna” used to get the attention of the general public who are bored by the concepts of rotifers, cytoplankton, soil nematodes and so forth.

  2. Reblogged this on Blogging About STEM and commented:
    What’s Australia without the koalas? Perhaps the tourist angle can get Australians to do something to save these creatures?

  3. A friend of ours from Adelaide has koalas on the trees along his property. During the bush fires the koalas actually came down for the water he offered in their garden. A ‘live and let live policy’ has worked for these koalas; but if the trees are cleared in the name of development, that would mean an end for them, climate change or no climate change.

    • Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

      There has been a lot of that around and amazingly touching. Seems Koalas have realized that being commensalism ( ? ) with humans is a survival tactic.

  4. Gingerbaker Says:

    This news is hard to bear…….

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