Koalas are one of our most iconic animals, and while they’re not endangered — yet — they have been listed as threatened in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT.
The ABC reports on the fate of Eastern koalas, and the numbers are kind of terrifying. In Queensland, Koala numbers have dropped by 40 per cent over the last 20 years. In New South Wales, the figures suggest the population is down by a third. There are no wild koalas at all in the ACT.
It’s not quite game over for the Koala just yet; there are said to be “large” koala populations in Victoria and South Australia, although the numbers are debated. I guess it’s hard to get Koalas to fill out census forms. The government’s numbers indicate they’re not at endangered status just yet, and That’s why Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke hasn’t listed them as endangered:
“In Victoria and South Australia, koalas have actually been in such high numbers they’ve been eating themselves out of habitat. There’s what you call population control measures going on there … like sterilisation. But in places like NSW and Queensland, their numbers have been taking a massive hit. On a species as iconic as the koala, I really don’t think I could have credibly said to the Australian people, ‘oh don’t worry, you might not have any more in Queensland the way things are going, but you can go to South Australia if you want to see one.”