Koalas in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) could disappear by 2050 unless the government takes immediate action to protect them and their habitat, a parliamentary inquiry determined after an investigation by a year.
Land clearing for agriculture, urban development, mining and forestry has been the main factor in the fragmentation and loss of habitat for animals in New South Wales, the most populous state in the country, since many decades.
An extended drought-fueled bush fire season that ended earlier this year has also been devastating for animals, destroying about a quarter of their habitat across the state, and in some areas up to 81%.
“The evidence could not be more blatant,” said the 311-page final investigation report on Tuesday.
“The only way for our children’s grandchildren to see a koala in the wild in New South Wales will be for the government to act on the committee’s recommendations.”
The report, commissioned by a multi-stakeholder parliamentary committee, makes 42 recommendations, including an urgent census, prioritizing animal protection in urban development planning and increasing funding for conservation.
But he stopped unanimously recommending a moratorium on logging in indigenous public forests, he said.
Stuart Blanch, director of land clearing and restoration at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Australia, called on the government to act on the recommendations and strengthen protections for animal habitat.
“WWF calls on Premier of New South Wales to rewrite weak land clearing laws to protect koala habitat, dramatically increase funding for farmers who actively conserve koala trees and a transition from logging koalas to plantations. ” Blanch said in a statement.
A spokesperson for Gladys Berejiklian, the Prime Minister, said that the government would examine the report and respond “in due time”, adding that it had already committed 44 million Australian dollars (30.14 million dollars) on a animal protection strategy.
(Report by Paulina Duran and Cordelia Hsu in Sydney; Edited by Christian Schmollinger and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)
(This story has not been edited by GalacticGaming staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)