As reported in the KAG newsletter, a report released by the State Government shows that koalas are continuing to rapidly decline with a 51% loss in the last 3 years and if the current rate of decline continues there will be fewer than 500 koalas left in the Koala Coast region by 2010.
KAG strongly urges members and friends to write letters and emails to the State Government to express outrage at this disturbing trend.
The full report, “Decline of the Koala Coast Koala Population: Population Status in 2008” by Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) can be viewed on EPA
The State Government’s pro-development agenda appears to continue unabated with the release of the Draft South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031.
Please see below some points that can be used in letters to the State Government in response to the new report: (NOTE: Every point headed Fact: is directly from the report)
The seriousness of the situation. (use your own words to express your dismay, outrage etc.)
Fact: The koalas in the Koala Coast are in severe decline (51% decline in less than three years and 64% decline in ten years).
Reasons for this catastrophic decline.
Fact: The greatest decline has been in bushland areas which is a flow-on from the excessive habitat loss and mortality in the urban areas.
The government is wrong in assuming they can protect koalas by securing bushland areas and allowing “koala friendly development” in the urban footprint.
Fact: The importance of the urban koala population in bolstering the bushland population has previously been underestimated.
The draft South East Queensland Regional Plan must be changed or the fate of koalas will be sealed. We must encourage the government to rethink these aspects of the plan in light of the new information:
Fact: Unabated clearing of koala habitat for development in SEQ is placing a great deal of pressure on the survival of the koala.
- The projected increase in human population in the Redlands is incompatible with the survival of the koala population.
- Infill developments in already established urban areas will remove the trees and block the movement paths that allow the urban koalas to survive.
- The major developments proposed in South East Thornlands and Kinross Road will result in habitat destruction and loss of freedom of movement for koalas.
- The Integrated Employment Area between Springacre and Taylor Roads Thornlands will likewise remove habitat and impede the movement of koalas.
- South Redland Bay development will allow a further 10,000 residents in an isolated part of the Koala Coast and traffic through Koala Conservation Area will increase exponentially.
Tell the government why we should save the Koala Coast koalas.
- Give your personal reasons of what they mean to you, ranging from the enjoyment they give you when you see them and the importance you place on your children/grandchildren also being able to see koalas in the future.
- Koalas are important to the identity of Redlands.
- Tourism opportunities will be lost forever.
- Recent research has shown the Koala Coast population to be genetically distinct and SEQ koalas to be the most genetically diverse in Australia. Genetic diversity is important for the long term survival of a species, therefore it is critical to protect the Koala Coast population.
We have very little time to change the way things are done. Express a sense of urgency.
Fact: If the current rate of decline continues, there will be less than 500 koalas remaining in the Koala Coast by 2010.
Emphasise that more must be done to protect urban koalas such as retention of mature food trees, fauna overpasses to cut the road toll and the need for dog laws to minimise dog attacks.
Fact: Loss of habitat is recognised as the key threatening process for koala survival, with additional threats from vehicle hits, dog attacks and an increased susceptibility to disease as a consequence of the loss and fragmentation of koala habitat.
Send letters/emails to the addresses listed below and please encourage family and friends to do likewise:
Hon. Anna Bligh Premier and Minister for the Arts PO Box 15185, CITY EAST, QLD, 4002
Hon. Kate Jones Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability PO Box 15155, CITY EAST QLD, 4002
Hon. Stirling Hinchcliffe Minister for Infrastructure and Planning PO Box 15009 , CITY EAST, 4002