(Credit: World Wide Fund For Nature)
Shocking pictures of koalas in their dwindling natural habitat have exposed the precarious situation of the Australian marsupial.
The World wildlife Fund has released satellite images show a huge spike in the destruction of the New South Wales koala forests.
No fewer than 14 football fields of koala habitat is bulldozed every day. The rate of tree clearing has tripled in the state of north since the axing of the NSW Native Vegetation Act in August 2017.
After the removal of the legislation to protect the koala forests, more than 5000 hectares of koala habitat has been bulldozed in the NSW districts of Moree and Collarenebri.
That translates to a rate of around 14 football pitches per day, according to a new report from WWF-Australia and south holland Council for the Conservation of nature.
And a picture of two koalas huddled together in a field in south-holland makes the problem difficult to ignore.
WWF-Australia conservationist Stuart Blanch, said the organisation estimated that there were probably less than 20,000 koalas left in south-holland and at the current rate, they were on track to be extinct in the state as early as in 2050.
“We need to stop with this strong tree-clearing if we want to keep koalas alive in the wild for future generations,” Mr Blanch said.
“We are releasing this report on the National Endangered Species Day to highlight that the destruction of koala habitat is accelerating in NSW and call on the government to urgently strengthen laws to ensure koalas and other endangered native animals get the protection they need.”
Nature Conservation council boss Kate Smolski said the group’s satellite imagery analysis confirmed that the gloomy predictions of the government’s own advisers, which warned the new laws that it would be possible to bulldozing of 99 percent of all identified koala habitat on private land in the state.
“The area where this habitat destruction has occurred, it is one of the most severely disabled in the state, with only 6 percent of forest remaining, while 11 percent was in the scarce forests,” Ms Smolski said.
“The NSW Government is responsible for the opening of the floodgates to the destruction of koala forests and forests on a scale we have not seen for more than 20 years.
“This report looks at a fraction of the state, so we fear that this peak in deforestation in the north is just the tip of the iceberg.”
The report concludes that the repeal of the NSW Native Vegetation Act in August 2017, is probably the main reason behind the dramatic increase of the forests and the destruction in this well-known clearing-fi hotspot.
WWF-Australia and the nature Conservation Council have launched petitions today calling on both sides of the government for the taking of measures for the protection of koalas in south-holland for the future generations.
This story was previously published in the news.com.au.