Friday 12th of August 2022

save the koala...

In April 2012, the Australian Government declared the Koala as ‘VULNERABLE” under the Federal EPBC Act in New South Wales, the Act and Queensland.  Victoria and South Australia were excluded from the listing. 

The AKF believes that the Koala should have been listed in all States. 
Research conducted by the AKF strongly suggests the Koala’s conservation status should be upgraded to “CRITICALLY ENDANGERED” in the South East Queensland Bioregion as the Queensland Minister for the Environment has declared them to be “functionally extinct”.  


Koalas are in serious decline suffering from the effects of habitat destruction, domestic dog attacks, bushfires and road accidents. The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that there are less than 100,000 Koalas left in the wild, possibly as few as 43,000. You can see how we determined those figures here.


It is the AKF’ view that is no legislation that effectively and/or consistently protects Koala habitat anywhere within Australia, not necessarily because the legislation does not exist, but because there is not always the political will to adequately resource, implement, police and enforce such legislation.

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Australia's koala population faces extinction across large parts of New South Wales and Queensland as urbanisation, land clearing and climate change threaten the vulnerable species' habitats.

Experts are warning of an "unfolding tragedy" which could see koalas wiped out of regions including the Koala Coast south-east of Brisbane, and the Pilliga Forests area in northern NSW.

Populations close to Byron Bay, Ballina, Port Macquarie and Gunnedah in NSW are also under threat, while koala numbers in regions near Mackay and Toowoomba in Queensland have suffered declines of up to 80 per cent.

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In the image at top, from The Modern Reference Encycopaedia Illustrated, published 1939 for Australia by the Courier Mail and the Sunday Mail, Brisbane, the caption says:

The Australian takes a natural pride in his native flora and fauna for though all the useful animals, including the horse, cattle and sheep, and all the edible grains and fruits were introduced, Australia has some remarkable animals, birds and trees, found nowhere else. Notable amongst these is the State-protected Koala or Native Bear, shown above.

What happened? Humans! We don’t really care. We don’t care about anything else but ourselves. 
The present status of the Koala, except those in zoos that are sometimes wheeled out to pee on visiting public figures, is horrible. Something has to be done about this situation. An end to “development” in areas where there are still some wild koalas. A few points though: First, the koala isn’t a “bear”. Second it is not protected by the State. Third, Australian is made of he and she… Come on Australians! 
Wake up, your koalas are being killed liked vermin and soon there will be less of them than Pandas, which is a real bear, for which you give to WWF some cash… It’s time to save the koala from our greedy paws. We need State laws that prohibit DEVELOPMENTS, CONSTRUCTION and DEFORESTATION. 

the solution is simple...




State and Federal laws that prohibit DEVELOPMENTS, CONSTRUCTION and DEFORESTATION. 



under the guise of "scientific purposes"...

Queensland koalas have been translocated under the guise of "scientific purposes" without any evidence of resultant scientific studies. Sue Arnold reports.

THERE ARE OMINOUS signs that the Queensland Government may soon adopt translocation of any koala colony as policy, to ensure developers are not hampered by any necessity to protect habitat.

The Queensland Government’s approval of a major translocation of koalas from Coomera to distant conservation areas is regarded as the largest translocation project undertaken in Queensland and New South Wales. 

As the purpose of the project was to facilitate the development of the Coomera Town Centre located in 900 ha of prime koala habitat, the translocation contradicted any suggestion that “scientific purposes” was the raison d’etre.

Nevertheless, scientific permits were issued by the Government to allow the project to proceed.

As virtually all relevant documents giving approval to the translocation are unavailable on the public record, Right to Information (RTI) requests are the only way to dig into the closet of this “transparent” Government.


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save the clumsy possum!...

A government-owned logging company is conducting a controversial experiment expected to kill native animals that are already heading toward extinction, the ABC can reveal.

Key points: 
  • VicForests logging and burning forest where threatened species lives — for research
  • The government-owned company knows the experiment is likely to kill greater gliders 
  • Expert compares project to Japan's scientific whaling


VicForests is owned by the Victorian Government and logs native forests for profit under exemptions to federal environment law.

It is now logging parts of East Gippsland forest at different intensities to measure survival rates of the threatened greater gliders that call it home.

VicForests argued the research would assist the conservation of the species, but acknowledged it was likely to kill some of them.

In an email seen by the ABC that addressed similar logging nearby, VicForests' staff acknowledged deaths were likely.

"It is unfortunate that some individuals have to die in the process, but we really need to look at the big picture here," a VicForests ecologist wrote.

And when asked if gliders that survived the initial logging would die when VicForests burnt the leftover wood, the company's manager of biodiversity conservation Tim McBride said: "Yep, that's a very likely outcome."


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Any humans out there with a brain rather than a chainsaw?... Ah, I know... They've transplanted human intelligence in mice...

Greater gliders are known as the "clumsy possum".

save the stygofauna...

Conservationists have said the oil company Santos has not addressed questions about how its proposed 850-well Narrabri coal seam gas project in New South Wales would affect threatened species.

Two new reports, including one by a former ecologist for the NSW environment and heritage office, say the company had not adequately responded to submissions which raise concerns about animal and plant surveys Santos conducted for its environmental impact statement.

Santos’s formal reply to more than 20,000 public submissions was criticised by opponents when it was released earlier this year.

David Paull, a consultant ecologist who was employed by the NSW government, wrote a response disputing Santos’s findings that endangered box gum woodlands were not present at the project site and that yellow box was either absent or “occurs at such low abundance to be meaningless in terms of plant composition”.

Paull said the company had also failed to conduct surveys for stygofauna, which are species that help purify groundwater, despite a recommendation from the independent expert scientific committee that it do so.


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Homo sapiens = rapists of the planet...

save the swift parrot...

Habitat for the critically endangered swift parrot is being “knowingly destroyed” by logging because of government failures to manage the species’ survival, according to research.

Matthew Webb and Dejan Stojanovic, two of the Eureka prize finalists from the Australian National University’s difficult bird research group, say governments have stalled on management plans that would protect known feeding and nesting habitat in Tasmania.

The researchers analysed logging in Tasmania’s southern forests during the 20-year course of the previous regional forest agreement.


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and the digging started...

in a flap...

Wildlife watchers are in a flap after one of Australia's rarest species of bird, the regent honeyeater, was spotted three times in Queensland in recent weeks.

Urban development and drought have destroyed the habitat of the critically-endangered bird and its population is believed to be as low as 400 in the wild across Australia.

The bird is extinct in South Australia and western Victoria, but is found in woodlands west of the Great Dividing Range.

The three sightings near the Queensland coast have the Australian birdwatching community excited, but also concerned.


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road kill...

Special tunnels, bridges and fencing are failing to save New South Wales' dwindling koala population from speeding traffic, the state's "road kill" files reveal.

Key points: 
  • The files were obtained by the ABC under freedom of information laws
  • They reveal dozens of koalas have been killed on the Pacific Highway in the past five years
  • Koala populations are dwindling on the NSW north coast, and are listed as "locally endangered" in several locations there


One tragic incident recorded on video shows an injured koala trapped in supposedly wildlife-proofed tunnel, unable to crawl to safety as traffic roars past.

As tunnel operators try to organise a rescue, a semi-trailer driver ignores flashing warning signs and crosses into the closed lane, killing the koala. 

The video is part of the State Government's "road kill" files and was obtained under freedom of information laws from NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

The files show where koalas are being killed around NSW, and includes five years of incident reports from the Pacific Highway, where 68 koala deaths were recorded.

The video, from 2017, was recorded in the St Helena tunnel, near Byron Bay on the state's north coast, where koalas are listed as "locally endangered".

An incident report about the rescue operation tells how an RMS tunnel operator spotted "something flapping" on a surveillance camera. 

After zooming in, the operator focuses on the injured koala.

According to the report, the operator activated LED signs commanding drivers to stay in the left lane, and then made urgent calls for wildlife rescue volunteers to attend.


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destroying koalas habitats...

The rate of land clearing in northern NSW more than tripled after the Berejiklian government eased native vegetation protection in 2017 to the rate of about 14 football fields of koala habitat per day, a new report has found.

The report, compiled by WWF and the Nature Conservation Council using satellite imagery, was released on Friday to coincide with National Threatened Species Day.

The 22,000 square-km region studied, west of Moree, had been a focus of intensive land clearing – legal and illegal – even prior to last year's repeal of the Native Vegetation Act, Wendy Hawes, an ecologist, said.


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adopt a koala...

People are being encouraged to 'adopt' a koala this Christmas amid ongoing concerns about their severely declining numbers. 

The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on the mid-north coast of New South Wales is the only facility in the world dedicated to the care of wild koalas.

The hospital rescues, rehabilitates and, where possible, releases koalas back into their home territory.

The not-for-profit organisation costs about $650,000 per year to run and receives more than 100,000 visitors a year.


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save the koala — don't vote for gladys...

Across NSW koala numbers are dwindling, their disappearance partly blamed on land clearing.

Their survival will be an issue for some NSW voters on Saturday, with land clearing sparking a number of questions from ABC readers. 

Key points:
  • The ABC received 85 questions on land clearing as part of the "You Ask, We Answer" campaign
  • Land clearing laws have been relaxed under NSW's Coalition Government
  • Labor says it will bring land clearing "under control" while the Liberals have a $45 million blueprint to protect koalas


It is reflected by internal Labor and Coalition polling placing the environment in the top five issues for voters for the first time in a state election. 

Of the more than 2,000 questions submitted to the ABC's "You Ask, We Answer" series, almost 300 concerned environmental issues, with 85 specifically focused on land clearing.

It is an issue people are talking about ahead of Saturday's poll.


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functionally extinct...

Today the Australian Koala Foundation announced they believe “there are no more than 80,000 koalas in Australia”, making the species “functionally extinct”.

While this number is dramatically lower than the most recent academic estimates, there’s no doubt koala numbers in many places are in steep decline.

It’s hard to say exactly how many koalas are still remaining in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, but they are highly vulnerable to threats including deforestation, disease and the effects of climate change. 

Once a koala population falls below a critical point it can no longer produce the next generation, leading to extinction.

The term “functionally extinct” can describe a few perilous situations. In one case, it can refer to a species whose population has declined to the point where it can no longer play a significant role in their ecosystem. For example, it has been used to describe dingoes in places where they have become so reduced they have a negligible influence on the species they prey on. 

Dingoes are top predators, and therefore can play a significant role in some ecosystems. Our innocuous, leaf-eating koala cannot be considered a top predator.

For millions of years koalas have been a key part of the health of our eucalyptus forests by eating upper leaves, and on the forest floor, their droppings contribute to important nutrient recycling. Their known fossil records date back approximately 30 million years so they may have once been a food source for megafauna carnivores.

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one of the saddest blind happenings...

A mystery virus is causing one of the country's most unique animals to go blind.

Key points:
  • Lumholtz's tree kangaroos normally live in the rainforest canopy
  • In recent years they have been found disoriented in schools and on roads
  • One theory is the leaves they eat are increasing in toxicity due to weather changes


Lumholtz's tree kangaroos are only found in a small pocket of rainforest in far north Queensland — and most Australians do not even know they exist.

Now, the creatures — which normally nestle high up in the treetops — are being found in odd places on the Atherton Tablelands, west of Cairns, including in schools, sheds and in the middle of roads, unable to see and confused.

A researcher has said the loss of the kangaroos' vision was likely caused by a virus potentially caused by changing climatic conditions.


Karen Coombes has been caring for injured tree kangaroos on her property near Malanda, west of Cairns, for two decades.

She studied the species for her PhD and founded the Tree Roo Rescue and Conservation Centre.

Most of the animals in her care are blind.


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ooch! oi! hurt! oye! spikes!....

Lynelle Urquhart's home on a property west of Moonie in outback Queensland is normally quiet, but she has been having trouble sleeping lately, thanks to late-night activity under the floorboards.

"I had to have a sleeping tablet last week, because of all the scratching around through the night," she said.

"Our house is pretty close to the ground, and echidna quills scrape on the floorboards, and when that's under your bed at night it can keep you awake."

It is mating season, and several echidnas have found the perfect love nest underneath the farmhouse.

"I've never met anyone who had to have a sleeping tablet because echidnas were having sex under the house!" Ms Urquhart said.

She said she has counted six echidnas walking around her garden, often oblivious to her.

"In all my time here I've never ever seen this many echidnas at our home," Ms Urquhart said.

"They'd walk in between my legs, and as long as I didn't make a noise they didn't see me as a threat. 

"They probably hang around here because there's a little bit of water left, and the soil is soft enough for them to dig after we've watered a tree. And digging is what echidnas love to do."


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The hedgehog mating ritual is protracted, with the sounds often indistinguishable from human ones. Their most active period is between April and early September.

German police are being called out increasingly often over night-time disturbances, only to discover the noisy offenders are mating hedgehogs, reports The Guardian.

Dozens of noise complaints have been received by emergency services across the country with residents initially grumbling over neighbours having unacceptably loud sex or concerned that some animal might be in pain or suffering. The loud and irritating sounds, however, are often the result of the prickly intruders having sex.

In a sign of how widespread the issue is, Germany now even has a hashtag, #igelsex, which translates as “hedgehog sex”.

Police  arrived at a primary school in Augsburg, outside Munich, to check out odd sounds from a playground and found a pair of mating hedgehogs, while in an incident in Kamenz near Dresden, a fire brigade resorted to a hydraulic spreader to open a charity clothes collection bin that was resonating with loud noises that were reported by concerned residents. The culprits turned out to be mating hedgehogs.

The protracted hedgehog mating ritual, known in German as Igelkarussell, or hedgehog carrousel, can last for hours over a 430 square-foot area. The range of sounds the prickly and innocuous-looking animals make includes hissing, snarling and even screaming.


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Note: Equidnas are not hedgehogs, but monotremes or egg laying mammals... Hedgehogs and equidnas have sharp spines covering their bodies.

save the platypus, the equidna's cousin...

Poor water management of the Murray-Darling Basin combined with a lack of water is to blame for an alarming decrease in platypus numbers in that area, researchers say.

Key points:
  • Scientists at the University of New South Wales have been researching platypus numbers for four years
  • They believe the animal's numbers may have declined by half since Europeans arrived
  • Research points to poor water management in the Murray-Darling Basin as contributing to the problem


Declines in Australia's platypus population have likely been underestimated, and may have halved since Europeans arrived, University of NSW scientists say.

Professor Richard Kingsford and his team from UNSW have been studying the platypus for the past four years. 

"The figures are essentially telling us that there's been this huge decline in platypus numbers over the last 100 to 200 years and we're not really dealing with that," Professor Kingsford says.

The animal has disappeared from large areas, including the Murray-Darling Basin — with no official observations in the last 10 years in half of the catchments of the basin.

The data is concerning for the platypus, with current population estimates ranging from 30,000 to 300,000, report author and PhD candidate Tahneal Hawke said.


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Estimates with a error factor of 1000/100 are bloody useless...

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destroying koalas for consistency...

The Federal Environment Department approved the clearing of more than 75 hectares of critical koala habitat west of Brisbane in breach of its own policy.

Key points:
  • Department of Environment approved clearing of 75 hectares of koala habitat near Ipswich
  • Documents obtained under FoI show the approval was granted against the department's own policy
  • The department said it granted approval to "maintain consistency" with other projects already approved


Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) reveal two housing developments in the Ipswich area "lacked consistency" with the Environment Department's own policy on environmental offsets.

Nonetheless, the department approved the land clearing in January 2018 "in order to maintain consistency in decision making" with other projects that had already been given the green light.

"That's not good enough," the ACF's Andrew Picone told 7.30.

"The koala is listed as a vulnerable species, it faces a very real risk of extinction.

"If we continue to allow the destruction of its habitat and not even apply the bare minimum of the offset policy requirements, it's likely to go extinct much sooner than people predict."

Environmental scientist Dr Philip Gibbons, from the Australian National University, thinks the department is not doing its job.

"This is a concern because it tells us our own Department of the Environment either doesn't have the desire or it doesn't have the power to protect threatened species such as the koala," he told 7.30.


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important habitats are still at risk of being destroyed...

Conservationists say a New South Wales Government strategy to boost koala numbers in the state isn't working, because important habitats are still at risk of being destroyed.

But a report card prepared for the New South Wales Environment Minister insists progress is being made, with an extra 7,000 hectares of koala habitat now protected.

The goal of the state's koala strategy is to stabilise and then increase the numbers of the marsupial in New South Wales.


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killing rabbits the size of wombats...

A former pest management expert for the Victorian government has spoken out against a “confusing” legal loophole that has left wombats unprotected in some parts of the state.

Nocturnal Wildlife Research director Clive Marks’ comments come amid widespread outrage over revelations first reported in The New Daily that wealthy tourists were being invited to a farm outside Melbourne to hunt the marsupials for sport.

The Murrindindi farm is owned by a Chinese businessman and partner of Crown casino at the centre of an explosive Channel Nine investigation into links between casinos and organised crime.

Dr Marks spent more than 10 years investigating methods of killing wombats and other pest animals for the Victorian government.

Now an independent researcher, he says he can “speak freely” about the inner workings of government that have led to a “confusing” legal loophole that means wombats have no protection in 193 regions (parishes) in Victoria.

“The legislation was an administrative quick fix – it was a real nightmare,” Dr Marks told The New Daily.

He said the Victorian government initially declared wombats vermin because they could charge through rabbit-proof fences at a time when “rabbit plagues were serious all over Australia”.


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their forest is on fire!...

A singed and injured koala and her joey, who have become a symbol of hope and resilience amid Queensland's bushfire emergency, are slowly recovering in a Brisbane wildlife hospital.

Key points:
  • The photo of the koala and joey went viral when they were found by a police officer on Saturday
  • The pair are recovering in the Queensland Wildlife Hospital, among many other animals being looked after
  • Animals including horses are also being treated at the Canungra showgrounds for burns


The koala was rescued by Jimboomba police officer Darren Ward in the Gold Coast hinterland over the weekend.

Acting Senior Sergeant Ward found the koala and her joey in shock, clinging to a branch on the ground.

"There was singeing to the fur, and singeing to the ears … but the baby seemed quite well protected," he said.

The RSPCA's Michael Beatty said the pair was being treated in the Queensland Wildlife Hospital.


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And for every single koala saved, a great number of them have perished...

...and zeus destroyed the koalas...

Hundreds of koalas are feared to have died in an out-of-control bushfire in northern New South Wales which has raged unchecked for days in the heartland of their prime habitat.

The blaze, reportedly caused by a lightning strike near Port Macquarie, has burned more than 2,000 hectares, including an important koala breeding ground.


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politicians' ignorance is costing the Earth...

Koalas – along with Australia’s environment – are in dire straits, governed by politicians whose ignorance is literally costing the Earth.

The sun is blood red. Smoke fills the air like a heavy impenetrable fog covering trees with thick curtains of burned vegetation nanoparticles.

In the forests, the big trees are dying, their leaves curling up in a last gasp for water before they drop on the bone dry earth, creating a catastrophic loss of food and shelter for dependent animals. More fuel for more bushfires.

The sheer extent of the fires and their horrific intensity are the last straw for the koala populations in New South Wales, where well over 1,650,000 hectares have burnt with 75 fires still raging.

Key koala habitats have been lost. Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Kempsey, Wardell, Clarence Valley, Lismore, Byron Bay have all suffered catastrophic bushfires together with Far North Coast forests — the heartlands of koalas.

Mainstream media has focused on an estimated 350 koalas lost to the fires in Port Macquarie. Yet the death toll is far more widespread and almost certainly spells widespread extinction for the koala, with few remaining healthy colonies surviving.

No mention has been made by any politicians that prior to the bushfires, forests were dying as a result of drought. Wildlife carers report that months before the fires broke out, koalas were coming into care dehydrated and suffering from malnutrition.

Carers at Koalas In Care Inc in Taree say koalas were already depleted as a result of no food and no water well before the inferno. Koalas rescued from the fires arriving at the shelter are very stressed.



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rescue dog...

SYDNEY – An obsessive-compulsive dog who was abandoned as a puppy has a new mission: helping find and save koalas injured in Australia’s recent devastating bushfires.

Bear, a Cattle Dog cross-breed, is trained to find both koalas and quolls, another small Australian marsupial, in the wild.

“This is the first year that we have been involved in the fires,” Romane Cristescu, his minder and ecologist at The University of the Sunshine Coast, told Reuters. “It is a bit more dangerous than what we usually do.”

Bear, who usually looks for sick or injured wildlife for conservation and research purposes in calmer conditions, has been wearing protective socks on his paws to search through areas scorched by fire.

Bushfires have ravaged around 2.5 million acres of farmland and bush across Australia’s east coast in recent weeks, killing four people and destroying hundreds of homes.



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will they even make it that long?...

Koala population at 'tipping point' after Australian bushfire crisis, donations soar amid outpouring of overseas support

By Jessica van Vonderen and Rebeka Powell

As the nation suffered through an unprecedented number of bushfires this month, the plight of the koala has been front-page news abroad leading to an outpouring of public support.

Images of the furry creatures with charred skin, blackened paws and clear symptoms of dehydration have dominated much of the recent overseas coverage, becoming a cultural symbol of the crisis.

One viral video showed a woman in just her underwear running through burning bushland to save a koala.

The shocking imagery has led to several foreign reports that koalas are "functionally extinct" as a result of the bushfires.

However, the marsupials have been under threat for much longer.

Research has shown koalas are on track to be extinct by 2050 in New South Wales if land clearing rates continue.

But with a changing climate and early start to an extreme bushfire season, will they even make it that long? One of Australia's leading wildlife organisations says they won't.


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The major problem is the STUPID governments (FEDERAL AND STATES) allowing land clearing in sensitive areas... No trees, no koalas... Idiots! And they believe that having no trees, there won't be any bushfires... Imbeciles! Meanwhile they do NOTHING to prevent global warming, often leaving it to us to place some solar panels on our roofs and offering "thoughts and prayers"... Morons! 



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estimates with an elastic band...

Australia’s environment minister has said up to 30% of koalas on the New South Wales mid-north coast may have been killed in the country’s ongoing bushfire crisis.

Nationally, more than 5m hectares have been burned in an unprecedented bushfire season that has also killed nine people. Some 3.4m hectares have been burnt in NSW alone.

The state’s mid-north coast is home to a significant number of Australia’s koalas, with an estimated population between 15,000 to 28,000.


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This is highly inaccurate accounting. It's possible that more than 50 per cent of the koala population has been decimated by the bushfires. and based on the lower estimated figure of 15,000, this would leave about 7,500 animals alive. And the dangers have not passed. A new heat wave is coming. 

bushfires have killed thousands of koalas...

Ecologists have grave concerns for the future of unique and endangered wildlife on Kangaroo Island where bushfires have killed thousands of koalas.

Fires on the island, in South Australia, have so far burned through 155,000 hectares – about one third of the island’s entire area – with blazes concentrated in the biodiversity-rich western areas.

Concerns are greatest for the unique and endangered mouse-like marsupial the Kangaroo Island dunnart, and the glossy black-cockatoo, which have both seen extensive areas of critical habitat burned.


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a crime against australia...

Victoria's Environment Minister has described the deaths of at least 40 koalas at a blue gum plantation in the state's south-west as "a crime", vowing to bring to account those responsible.

Key points:
  • Premier Daniel Andrews called the deaths a "terrible outcome" and promised a thorough investigation
  • A company that harvested blue gum on the property said the koalas were in good health when it left
  • Vets from a specialist koala hospital in New South Wales have headed to Victoria to help treat injured animals


Lily D'Ambrosio said she was "angry" about the deaths, adding that she expected many more than 40 animals to die as a result of the incident.

WARNING: This story contains graphic images.

"What I'm … deadly serious about is bringing to account every single person who is responsible for this devastation," she said.

"It is a crime, it is cruel. And it should not be allowed to be gotten away with."

Officers from the Department of Environment (DOE) were at the timber plantation near Cape Bridgewater this morning.

Portland woman Helen Oakley first raised the alarm with authorities on Wednesday after hiking into the area and finding about 10 dead koalas.

Dozens more koalas were found trapped in two isolated stretches of gum trees on the property.


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Whoever "owns" this land should be stripped of it. This is a crime against Australia.


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koala massacre...

Timber harvesting in a Victorian koala habitat has resulted in a massacre, with a call for an investigation into the slaughter, writes Sue Arnold.

THE MASSACRE of koalas at Cape Bridgewater in Portland, southwest Victoria, has created a national and international outcry.   

Stomach-churning vision of injured, dying and dead koalas, some with joeys in huge piles of bulldozed blue gums is a manifestation of the hell realms. Yet this appalling disaster is by no means unusual.

Blue gum plantations in Victoria and in South Australia’s Kangaroo Island are home to thousands of koalas.

Kangaroo Island plantations had 23,000 koalas resident before the disastrous bushfires.

The Victorian Government is unable to provide any information on how many koalas are estimated in 170,000 hectares of blue gum plantations in the Green Triangle.

No data is available on the number of koalas that have been killed in harvesting operations in spite of freedom of information requests by Australians for Animals Inc.

In 2013, the 7.30 Report highlighted a shocking story on the fate of koalas living in harvested plantations. Alternative refuges were sought for koalas as the population continued to be driven out of its natural habitat.

One eyewitness reported:

Broken limbs, impact wounds, broken backs, severed arm. Dead mothers with joeys that are still alive, trying to survive. I had one 500 gram joey, about this big (demonstrates size with hands) that had two healed broken arms. And so we can only assume from that that the mother had been dropped previous to this incident and she had no obvious breaks, but her intestines were just pulp.

Carers have reported that koalas have been burned alive and that some living koalas have gone through the chippers but no one is willing to stand up and be counted. According to several carers who have spoken to IA, the corpses of koalas are quickly buried and no reports are filed confirming mortality.  There’s a great deal of fear as carers and anyone involved at the periphery of the harvesting know that the Government will ignore complaints.

In 2017, the Government produced new legislative requirements to provide authorisation to plantations to “disturb koalas” in accordance with Section 28A (1A) of the Wildlife Act and implemented a Koala Management Plan approved by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

The language of this authorisation can hardly be interpreted to cover the appalling slaughter of defenceless koalas.

The massacre at Cape Bridgewater demonstrated that no matter how loudly the Victorian Government claimed concerns with the South West Fibre Company who owned the plantation, declaring it had ensured 72 healthy koalas had survived, a land owner was able to destroy remaining blue gums as the land was cleared, brutally injuring and killing koalas.

Neither the Wildlife Act nor the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act provide sufficient protection for koalas. The reality is that the gross mismanagement of Victoria’s koala population by a government which has managed to escape a major investigation of its appalling koala management practices continues on.

Anthony AmisFriends of the Earth spokesperson on blue gum plantations, is scathing in his criticism of the Government.

We had a similar thing happen in 2013 and 2015. Everything the Government has tried has been a dismal failure. Translocation, sterilisation, hormonal implant, spotters — nothing works.


In Victoria, we have two koala populations. A critically important genetically diverse population in the Strezlecki and a translocated population originating from French and Phillip Islands.  


All the problems are with the translocated animals. Their habitat is disappearing so the plantations are favoured by these koalas. I think they develop a taste for blue gum. When you log the trees, they are going to either starve or die.


The Victorian Government needs to be held to account.


Friends of the Earth says a Royal Commission into the Victorian Government’s mismanagement of koalas is long overdue.

As if the situation with blue gum plantations isn’t bad enough, Victoria’s wildlife is starving as a result of the bushfire infernos. More than 1.5 million hectares were burned but the Government continues to resist allowing rescue teams and vets to go into known wildlife areas.

The Australian Veterinary Association pleaded with the Government to airdrop food into inaccessible, bushfire-affected land to save starving wildlife.

On 21 January, the Government claimed to have hired private aircraft to drop “macropod pellets” for common species such as kangaroos and wallabies as well as the endangered brush-tailed rock wallaby. But Wildlife Victoria claimed it would be very difficult to deliver macropod pellets from the air. 

Local carers have had major problems attempting to feed wildlife as the Government continues to refuse access. Many carers have been contacted by IA but all say they can’t be identified as they’re fearful of repercussions by the Government

Recent reports by Yahoo News Australia indicate a New Zealand vet who flew to Australia to help treat wildlife was prevented from entering fire-affected areas.

According to the report, veterinarian Dr Rebecca Penman is just ‘one of a growing list of wildlife carers who have expressed frustration, alleging that the Victorian Government has blocked their access to burnt-out forests’.

Dr Penman said:

“They’re saying we don’t need any volunteers, we don’t need anyone helping. But there’s plenty of wildlife out there, the government is just pushing back.

Victoria’s blue gum plantation massacres are an international scandal. An investigation into the ownership and profits balanced against the colossal environmental damage is long overdue.

As further evidence of chaotic mismanagement, a week ago, the Victorian Government stopped the commercial kangaroo harvest because of the ‘roo toll in fire-affected areas. One week later, the ban was overturned and the harvest allowed to resume.

By far, the most serious issue arising from the Victorian koala mismanagement is that the lack of population information ensures Victorian koalas are unlikely to be listed under the provisions of the EPBC Act.

Currently, only NSW, Queensland and A.C.T. populations are listed as “vulnerable” under the Act. Any upgrading of koalas in these states – where an upgrading to “endangered” is desperately needed as a result of the bushfires and ongoing drought – will not happen as the Federal Government continues to claim there are plenty of koalas in Victoria and South Australia, thus ensuring survival of the species is secure and therefore no requirement to upgrade in NSW and Queensland.

In other words, the Victorian Government’s ongoing failure to keep population estimates is an insurance policy for the Federal Government’s continuing rejection of any upgrading to “endangered” status. The fact that neither Victorian nor South Australian koalas could be translocated to NSW and Queensland is ignored.

These are the machinations of irresponsible governments determined to wipe out Australia’s iconic and unique species.

Nuremberg type trial into the deliberate slaughter of this nation’s wildlife is becoming an urgent necessity.

Given the extraordinary response globally to the terrible fate of over one billion animals scientists estimate perished in the fires, the ongoing refusal of governments to provide adequate food drops and to take urgent action to protect species is criminal.

There are no bets on any State or Federal Government calling for a Royal Commission into the deliberate wipeout of Australia’s wildlife. But an increasingly angry electorate and growing international concern over what’s happening in this country will not go away.


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vanishing koalas...

The public is being misinformed about the true fate of koalas following the devastating effects of drought and fires, writes Sue Arnold.

IS THERE A CONSPIRACY to hide the fact NSW koalas are on the verge of extinction? Not in 2050 as WWF continues to predict, but in plain sight now.

Given the ongoing evidence of misinformation across mainstream and social media, one could be forgiven for thinking that a U.S.-style misinformation campaign is in full swing.

In reality, the legacy of the bushfires and drought make it almost 100 per cent certain that NSW koalas are facing looming extinction, save for a few small colonies. The only significant colony remaining is in southwest Sydney.  

But no one wants to say “extinction”. Or demand emergency action. Or shift blame for the situation where it belongs — in the laps of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Murdoch media.


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a rescue dog named Bear...

Australia Fires: Rescue dog Bear saves scores of koalas

An Australian Koolie dog who was abandoned by his family has been rescued and retrained to detect koalas. 

Bear has been following the aftermath of Australia's bushfires since January, finding sick, injured or starving koalas that otherwise would have perished. He has now rescued more than 100.


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save the forest, please...

A dispute over plans by a property developer to raze a local forest on the bushfire-ravaged south coast of New South Wales has been escalated to the federal environment minister amid concerns the project could threaten endangered species.

Residents of Manyana have been protesting against plans by Ozy Homes to clear 20 hectares of unburnt mature-growth forest to make way for nearly 180 housing lots.

They are opposed to the development given that so much local bushland has been burned.

Ozy Homes was due to start clearing the forest in Manyana last week but agreed to pause work until Monday to allow for discussions, the community group Manyana Matters said in a statement this week.

But after a meeting on Wednesday between Ozy Homes, the NSW planning minister, Rob Stokes, and representatives from Shoalhaven city council, the group on Thursday said the developer had shown “no indication ... that they are willing to further delay the start of work on this project”.

Manyana Matters has now engaged the Environmental Defenders Office to act on its behalf, with letters sent to the federal environment minister, Sussan Ley, and the director of Ozy Homes.

The community group wants the development – approved by the NSW government in 2008 – referred to Ley for assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, saying it could affect a number of threatened species, including the critically endangered swift parrot.

Apart from experts finding the project will directly impact listed species by clearing bushland that provides key areas of habitat, the site “is now surrounded by fire-affected forest and has become an important refuge for wildlife”, the letter to Ley says.


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The land should be bought by the National Parks under a special edict...

politicians murder koalas...


Koalas will be extinct in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) by 2050 unless there is urgent action, an inquiry has found.

The once-thriving marsupial has been ravaged by habitat loss, disease and climatic events in recent years.

About 5,000 koalas are thought to have died in devastating recent bushfires, the report to state parliament said.

It urged lawmakers to ensure that remaining populations did not perish in rapidly diminishing habitats.

The inquiry, by a cross-party committee, found pre-bushfire estimates that koalas numbered 36,000 in NSW were now outdated.

In the past year, blazes which scorched more than five million hectares statewide had affected 24% of koala habitats, it said.

The logging and fracturing of other koala areas has also been detrimental to their survival, according to the year-long investigation.

The committee said climate change posed an ongoing threat by exacerbating bushfires and drought, and by reducing the quality of the animal's eucalyptus leaf diet.


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It's a simple equation that suggest all the political decisions to let habitats be destroyed, even in "proportion", is equivalent to politicians murdering koalas... Full stop. The sustainability of these animals, symbol of this country amongst many, is eliminated by the felling of trees. Hello? Koalas don't eat hamburgers. 


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koalas up a tree without a paddle...

NSW shares Kean interest in koalas

Matt Kean has taken a principled stand on the conservation of NSW’s flora and fauna (‘‘Matt Kean aims to double koala population by 2050’’, July 26). It remains to be seen whether he can persuade other members of the state government who worship fervently at the Church of Perpetual Growth to prioritise protection of our threatened species from extinction, the looming climate crisis and the other environmental problems we have today – some of which are almost irreversible.

Alanna Somers, Penrith

Mr Kean’s plan to double the number of koalas by 2050 is ambitious and though we know the whole of the public would be 100 per cent behind him would the rest of the Berejiklian cabinet be there to support him?

Unfortunately the answer must be no at present, as development, logging and mining are destroying habitat and wildlife corridors. Good luck, minister, we are all with you.

Patricia Durman, Wedderburn

Does this mean the chlamydia-free Mount Gilead koalas are now safe from the Lendlease housing development that threatens their habitat near Campbelltown? It would be a good place to start, Matt.

Lisa Dixon, Croydon

Matt Kean’s political rise must rattle the foundations of PM Morrison and his ministers (‘‘Kean’s green sweep for the middle ground’’, July 26).

Far from being ignorant, disconnected and unknown to his federal counterparts – as insinuated by the PM’s early 2020 outburst – Kean relies on scientific fact, not ideological mindset, to shape his politics and form his policies. Sounds like a smart, sustainable response that many ‘‘quiet Australians’’ in our trying times might warm to.

Cleveland Rose, Dee Why


Read more: SMH (Sydney Morning Herald — 2/8/2020)



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starving koalas...

With as many as 3 billion Australian animals thought to have been killed or displaced by last season's bushfires, young koala Tin Tin is one of the lucky ones.

Key points:

  • Bushfires last November and December burnt more than 20,000 hectares of the land around Crows Nest
  • Wildlife carer Trish LeeHong rescued koalas that had been burnt, orphaned or traumatised 
  • The animals are now being released back into the wild but there is concern food will be scarce as the vegetation still recovers from the fire

The joey was found in a paddock at Crows Nest, north of Toowoomba in southern Queensland, last November after fires burnt more than 20,000 hectares in the region.

Wildlife carer Trish LeeHong rescued Tin Tin from the top of a 30-metre tree using a cherrypicker.

He weighed just 1.2 kilograms.

"His mother was in the low fork of the tree and she sadly passed away within a couple of hours of us catching her," Ms LeeHong said.

"He's an amazing little koala; he's climbing really well, and he's very fit.

"So he's off to a good start."

Ms LeeHong saved 28 koalas from the area, most of them injured, orphaned or traumatised.


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hopefully, the right kind of forest...

Queensland has introduced its strongest-ever protections for koalas in the south-east of the state, promising to protect five times more existing habitat than ever before.

The South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy, launched by Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch on Saturday, will prohibit the clearing of another 330,000 hectares of koala habitat within certain priority areas.

More than 577,000 hectares in southeast Queensland are now identified as koala priority area and a total of 716,266 hectares has now been mapped as koala habitat.


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"koalas are safe on farmers properties"...

A North Coast MP has threatened to head to the crossbench if the New South Wales Government forces farmers to search for koalas on their properties.

Key points:

  • A NSW Nationals MP says he will go to the crossbench and not support State Government policy
  • New planning regulations include increasing the number of protected tree species that trigger koala checks
  • The MP is concerned more green tape will impact farmers and timber industry

The new environmental planning regulations, the Koala Habitat Protection State Environment Planning Policy, are an attempt to protect koala populations.

But the Nationals' Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, said the new rules, which include increasing the number of tree species protected from 10 to 123, is a step too far and would severely limit the way property owners manage their land.

"It is protecting trees and not necessarily the trees that koalas live off," Mr Gulaptis said.

"Urban expansion, car kills, chlamydia [that kills koalas] — it's not necessarily the timber industry, nor is it because of the farmers that have cleared the land."

Crossing the floor

Mr Gulaptis said he will risk his position within Government ranks in order to support the regional communities he represents.

"It's not an idle threat," he said.

"I don't have faith in every policy the Government introduces and I'm prepared to go to the crossbenches. They can't expect my vote on every piece of legislation."

The Nationals MP said there was a clear difference in the way the environment was handled in cities and country areas.

"In the city they can go out and go ahead and clear all they like for the Badgery's Creek airport, a development of state significance, so it is one set of rules for them," he said.

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good cop bad cop routine...


goodcop badcop

The cartoon above is funny, but methinks that between the National and the Liberals of New South Wales, there is a bad cop good cop routine going on... Both parties have been guilty of neglect and vandalism on the koala front...




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the koalas at the bottom of the garden...

The federal government will unveil a koala protection package later this month which will include investment in habitat conservation and research.

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley is finalising the details of the package, which comes in the wake of ongoing land clearing and last year’s devastating Black Summer bushfires.


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a catastrophic plan: protecting nothing...

The NSW Coalition has agreed to new rules to protect koala habitat but will effectively exempt most rural land from more stringent rules administered through the planning process.

Instead, koala habitat on rural land will be covered by yet-to-be-announced protections under land-clearing laws administered by NSW Local Land Services through the primary industries portfolio.


The Nature Conservation Council on Monday said “excising farming and forestry zones from the koala Sepp is a catastrophic setback for the species”.

“These are where most of the koalas live and where most koala habitat destruction is happening right now,” council chief executive Chris Gambian said in a statement. “If you remove protections from these areas you have basically given up on the species and signed its death warrant.”

The announcement of the new koala state environmental planning policy (Sepp) 2021 was held up until Monday evening as the Liberal planning minister, Rob Stokes, and the Nationals leader, John Barilaro, worked to agree on the wording of a press release.

The Coalition was almost torn apart in 2020 over the issue. The Nationals threatened to go to the crossbench if the new koala planning policy was not abandoned. They later dropped the threat and the policy was reworked.


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