With the oldest known koala fossil dating back 20 million years in Australia, recent moves to dedicate over 25,000 hectares of forest across NSW for koala reserves is a great contribution to their future.
Every time we see a koala in an urban setting – think of the koalas recently filmed walking into shops around the country– Australia’s social media networks fire up and cover their every move.
However, as our environment develops there is a conflict between the urban needs of Australians and koala’s homes. Koalas eat eucalypt leaves and almost nothing else – it’s crucial we protect their habitat for their food source and somewhere to live.
This recent commitment will see koalas have dedicated forest on the Central Coast, Southern Highlands, North Coast, Hawkesbury and Hunter regions. Plans have been made to fix road kill hotspots and a koala hospital will be opened at Port Stephens to help sick, injured or orphaned koalas. This increase in dedicated green cover for koalas and a plan to recognise their needs is part of a long-term plan to conserve their declining population. Unfortunately, we have lost 26% of the koala population in the last 20 years.
Today is World Environment Day but here in Australia it’s a great time to celebrate the koala, one of our most loved marsupials.