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National Disgrace: Protect our Koalas from habitat destruction for Baird's political gain.

This petition had 827 supporters

Koalas in the wild face a series of threats to their continued survival. The main threat is loss of habitat, increased competition for food and territory, and because of overcrowding, increased stress on animals making them more susceptible to  disease. The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that as a result of the loss of their habitat around 4000 koalas are killed each year by dogs and cars alone.

Approximately 80% of Koala habitat has been destroyed. The current proposed plan to make protected land open to the farming industry means that 8 million hectares of Australian forests that our Koalas depend onto survive, will be opened to clearing (will be bulldozed).

In April 2012, the Australian government declared the Koala as vulnerable across the entire state. Unfortunately this changed nothing and Koala populations are rapidly declining. The Australian government should be responsible for the protection of all Koala habitat. If the Koala is to be conserved legislation must be strengthened for the protection of habitat throughout its range.

There is arguably no legislation that effectively and/or consistently protect Koala habitat anywhere within Australia, not necessarily because legislation does not exist, but because is not always the political will to adequately resource, implement, police and enforce such legislation.

Our Koala is universally recognised and referred as an Australian icon. The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that there are possibly as few as 43,000 left in the wild. Our forests and our wildlife are our national heritage. Tearing down trees at that scale would be robbing future generations of their natural heritage and a climate change disaster.

Australia has the third highest rate of land clearing of any developed nations of the world. As much land has been cleared in the last 50 years in Australia as was cleared in the previous 150 years.

For the year of 1990, land clearing in Australia totalled more than half of that which was cleared in Brazilian Amazonia. Land cleared in Australia in 1994 was equal to that which was cleared in the previous five years. (This included 640,000 hectares of virgin bushland.)

Without the introduction of legislation, this rate of clearance will probably continue to increase. As it is, the eucalyptus forests of mainland Australia, where logging is the major cause of forest degradation and loss, are being destroyed and replaced by plantations. This is especially so in the southwest of the country and Tasmania. (It is ironic to think that, overall, many forests were probably once rainforests prior to their being disturbed - ie, logged, burned and cleared - by European settlers).

We want to maintain our heritage to protect what is left of our natural environment and stop broad-scale land clearing and biodiversity destruction.


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