Friday, 5 April 2019

Koalas should be given endangered listing, environment groups say

Current regime fails to halt the creeping loss of critical habitat, WWF Australia warns
Mon 25 Mar 2019 17.00 GMTLast modified on Mon 25 Mar 2019 23.45 GMT
Koala populations on the Australian east coast have diminished to the extent the species should now be considered “endangered”, environment groups have said, amid concern that existing protection measures have failed to halt the creeping loss of critical habitat.
In south-east Queensland, once a stronghold for koala populations, habitat continues to be bulldozed through ineffective offset strategies, loopholes in development restrictions and poor planning for population growth, the groups said.
Last month, the Queensland government released a discussion paper about the state’s environmental offset strategy. It found that in 97% of cases, developers chose to pay a “financial settlement” to clear land rather than provide new habitat for koalas and other species.
The state recently flagged it would use a planning loophole to clear another five hectares of bushland on Brisbane’s south side, by designating the expansion of a shooting complex “essential infrastructure”. The plan is opposed by the Brisbane city council and local conservation groups.

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