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Land clearance to cause Koala extinction in NSW by 2050
Koalas are likley to be extinct by 2050 in NSW if current land clearing rates continue, according to a newly-released report from WWF Australia and the Nature Conservation Council.
Authored by conservation biologist Martin Taylor, the report used select satellite images of northern NSW to assess land clearing and its impact on vulnerable and endangered species.
Based on his findings, Taylor said if the rate of clearing wasn't wound back there could be serious consequences for native wildlife, stating "we see koala habitat disappearing at an alarming rate
"The numbers (of koalas) are low, and everybody out there is telling us that koalas are dropping terribly.
"If we project that forward, it could be mid-century by the time we may have no more wild koalas in NSW."
Taylor's report set out to examine changes in the rate and extent of land clearing in north-central NSW following the repeal of the Native Vegetation Act (2003) last year and the impact of the current Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Taylor described the moves as "taking the axe to native vegetation laws".
As reported by the ABC, Taylor's report found that from 2016/17 to 2017/18 the rate of land either fully or partly cleared almost tripled, from 2,845 hectares to 8,194 hectares.
Howwer, the NSW Environment Minister's office has rejected the notion of potential koala extinction, releasing a statement pointing to its ongoing koala strategy.
The statement advised "the WWF and NCC are playing politics and scaremongering.
"The NSW Government's Koala Strategy — the biggest commitment by any state government to secure koalas in the wild — will provide more natural habitat for koalas, tackle diseases, improve research and fix roadkill hotspots.
"The NSW Government has committed $45 million for this strategy."
In July, the NSW Department of Primary Industries also reported it had used ground-breaking recording techniques to find koala numbers were far higher than first thought.
Image: Koalas at the Australian Reptile Park.
7th July 2018 - Australian Reptile Park welcomes record koala breeding season
17th April 2018 - Bilbies return to NSW National Parks after near 100-year extinction
27th August 2015 - WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo celebrates birth of koala joey
26th June 2015 - NSW koala conservation area threatened with logging
29th November 2014 - WildEndurance event to raise funds for koala protection
13th May 2012 - Federal funding for protection of NSW koalas
30th April 2012 - Koalas to be listed as threatened amid rapid decline
28th September 2011 - Koala inquiry calls for vulnerable status
1st August 2011 - Dreamworld highlights perilous state of koala colonies
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