A Government report released on May 23rd 2009 showing a rapid decline in the koala population in SEQ comes as no surprise to the Koala Action Group
A Government report released on May 23rd 2009 showing a rapid decline in the koala population in SEQ comes as no surprise to the Koala Action Group. The Department of Environment and Resource Management’s report has confirmed that the key threat to the koala’s survival is loss of habitat. Vehicle hits, dog attacks and susceptibility to disease as a consequence of habitat loss along with fragmentation of habitat are also attributed to the decline in the koala population in the Report. KAG has been warning the State Government regarding all of these threats to the koala’s survival for the past 20 years.
The Report in part states:
“The results of the 2008 Koala Coast koala survey estimates a population of 2279 animals. Based on the population estimate of 4611 koalas in 2005-2006, this represents a 51% decline in less than 3 years and a 64% decline in the 10 years since the original 1996-1999 estimate of 6246 koalas.”
“The decline in the koala population is becoming increasingly rapid, from a 26% decline over 6 years to a 51% decline in 3 years.”
“If the current rate of decline continues, there will be less than 500 koalas remaining in the Koala Coast by 2010.”
“Many key koala habitat areas in the Koala Coast are currently being developed or are earmarked for future development.”
The figures show the greatest mortality rate (62%) is in the Redlands – a staggering loss of 1437 koalas lost in 3 years.
The Government report continues: “Unabated clearing of koala habitat for development in South East Queensland is placing a great deal of pressure on the survival of the koala.”
If the State Government is serious about stopping this decline, there must be an immediate end put to the clearing of mature koala habitat trees for 6 months as was recommended last year by the Premier’s Koala Taskforce. Drastic changes must also be made to the Draft South East Queensland Regional Plan, starting with areas in the Redlands that have been earmarked for future development in koala habitat and have those areas removed from the Plan as a matter of urgency.
These include Kinross and Springacre Roads at Thornlands, South East Thornlands and Southern Redland Bay.
To view the Report in its entirety click here EPA and click on 2008 Koala Population Koala Coast.