The number of koalas in Australia is currently less than 80,000, according to the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF). They fear that the species will die out within a few decades. To prevent this, drastic measures are needed according to the AKF, for example a law that protects the trees in which the animals live.
The number of koalas has drastically decreased in a short time, because in 2016 there were still around 330,000 animals. The rapid decline is partly due to the violent heat wave in Australia in 2018, as a result of which many koalas died due to a lack of water. In addition, the large-scale deforestation is an important reason, because koalas live in eucalyptus forests and eat the leaves of that tree. Because the animal increasingly loses its food supply and habitat, extinction is lurking.
And far too little is being done against that deforestation, says the AKF. The association has therefore devised the Koala Protection Act, a law which mainly focuses on the protection of the trees in which the animal lives. Current regulations focus on the protection of the animals themselves, but not on the protection of the habitat.
The Australian government has not made any plan to protect the koalas in the last six years, says the AKF. According to the association, no national recovery plan has even been made, although it was legally imposed six years ago.