The Australian Environment Minister said that up to 30% of New South Wales’s koalas in the Middle and North Coasts could be killed in the current Bushfire crisis.
At national level, more than 5 meters of hectares were burned in an unprecedented bushfire season that killed nine people. Only in NSW was burned about 3.4 m hectares.
It is home to a significant number of Australian koals with an estimated population of between 15,000 and 28,000 on the central north coast of the state.
Koalas inside a house in Cudlee Creek, South Australia, after being rescued from fires in a garden. Photo: Adam Mudge / AP
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said on Friday that up to 30% of koalas in the region were killed because “up to 30% of their habitats were destroyed”.
“We will learn more when the fire calms down and it is possible to make a proper assessment,” she told ABC’s AMC radio program.
The fires ripped to the north north coast in November and since then, more emergency explosions have spread in NSW near Sydney, NSW south, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.
However, the first reports that koalas were “functionally extinct” in Australia were considered incorrect and exaggerated, although the species is endangered.
In December, a government inquiry into the NSW was announced that thousands of coalitions perished and fires were so great that “we probably will never find bodies”.
At Adelaide Hills, SA, volunteer firefighters shared images of fire-rescued koal – including six in one house and two koal who emerged from the bushes for help.
“I get mail from all over the world from people who were absolutely impressed and impressed, number one, our volunteer response in the wild, and the habits of these curious creatures,” Ley said.
Other endangered and vulnerable animals, such as the western parrot in WA and the small island bird Kangaroo – a small marsupial bird – in SA, have also been hit by fires.
In Lobethal, Adelaide Hills, another town hit by Cudlee Creek, two koalas emerged from the bush to escape the fire. Photo: Eden Hills Country Fire Service
“It doesn’t have to be fluffy and cute, it can be scaly and scratched, and it’s as important to me as the Environment Minister, but also to the Australian environment,” Ley said. “The Western ground parrot was hit by fires, and so was the kunar island of Kangaroo.”
Koala populations and other endangered species have been significantly affected by land clearing, habitat destruction and the effects of global warming.
Before this year’s bushfire crisis, according to the Scientific Committee of Federal Endangered Species, koala in NSW and Queensland has already decreased by 42% between 1990 and 2010.
James Tremain, a spokesman for the NSW Nature Conservation Council, told Guardian Australia in November that the Koala drop was “slow and quiet.”
“Koala figures have fallen sharply over the past 20 years,” he said. “We are directly destroying thousands of hectares of our forests by cleaning agriculture and logging. However, as a result of climate change we are indirectly reducing available habitats. “
Ley said on Friday that the government is doing enough on climate change.
“Climate change is a huge problem and we are playing our part,” she said. “We meet and beat our goals, it’s very important.
“I’m focusing on things we can do in the field, with practical measures here in Australia that matter.”