You only have to think back about 6 months ago to remember the bushfires that were sweeping through Australia. Acres upon acres of land were burned during that time and billions of animals lost their lives. It was a summer of bushfires that left us with heartbroken images of koalas being treated for horrific burns.
Now that the bushfires are a thing of the past, koalas are not yet out of danger. Logging is now presenting a new threat that needs to be recognized.
Kailas Wild is an arborist and conservationist and that is working along with Nature NSW to show how logging companies are targeting areas that managed to escape the bushfires. That remaining territory is often where the koalas have settled and the operation is affecting them severely.
Forestry Corporation, which is state-owned, has been logging koala habitat for months in New South Wales, according to Kai. Nobody is sure what impact it is having on the koala.
“I went to Lower Bucca State Forest because I knew this was happening and I believe if people see this, they’ll do what they can to help keep koalas safe,” he said in the video.
Kai is asking the state government to stop those operations until they understand how many koala are in the area. He would also like to know if it is possible to move the koala to other areas.
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Kai has told Vice News: “The fact that there’s just been no pause or stocktake from the NSW Government to be like ‘let’s just see whether this is going to cause impact’ is worrying.
These bushfires completely changed the game. I’ve seen with my own eyes the old-growth forest that fires completely obliterated, and the habitat that no longer exists, and it’s really shifted and increased the value of these native forests.”
Researchers are estimating that up to 30% of koalas in New South Wales died as a result of the bushfires.
If systems are not put in place at this time, they could be facing extinction by 2050.
“Given the scale of loss as a result of the fires to many significant local populations, the committee believes the koala will become extinct in New South Wales well before 2050 and that urgent government intervention is required to protect their habitat and address all other threats to their ongoing survival,” the report said.
According to some reports, 24% of koala habitat was affected by the bushfires. In some areas, that number may have been higher than 80%.
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