Thursday, 25 December 2014

Koalas face extinction without stronger protection, say conservationists

Federal environment department says a recovery plan is in development, but conservationists warn the vulnerable koala needs urgent action


theguardian.com, Tuesday 23 December 2014 02.53 GMT

Conservationists have warned the koala is on the path towards extinction following the failure to release a strategy to actively reverse the decline of the marsupial species.

The federal government has published new guidelines to help reduce the impact of new development upon koala. It points out that koala populations have rapidly shrunk due to the destruction of vegetation and increasing risk of koalas being hit by cars or attacked by dogs.

The guidelines suggest certain mitigation measures, such as underpasses or bridges across highways, but there is no recovery strategy for the koala, which was listed as vulnerable in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory in 2012.

The environment department said a national recovery plan was “under development” with state and territory governments, although there was no date for its release. A recovery plan was due to be unveiled by the end of 2014 due to the expiration of a five-year strategy that ran since 2009.

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