Protect Koala Habitat from Deforestation

koala

Target: Governor of New South Wales Marie Bashir

Goal: To protect the koala habitats of Bellingen-Coffs Harbour from harmful deforestation.

When Europeans first arrived in Australia, the koala population was estimated at nearly ten million. Unfortunately, since that time poaching and habitat loss have had a considerable impact on this iconic species, with most scientists putting their numbers at fewer than 200,000 alive in the wild today.

While not officially endangered, koalas are listed as vulnerable under the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act. This means the animals risk crossing over onto the endangered species list despite efforts by groups such as the Australian Koala Foundation to raise awareness and enact legal protection. While these efforts have prevented legal hunting of the animals, as well as severely curtailed the number of animals falling victim to poachers, habitat destruction is still a severe threat.

The region of Bellingen-Coffs Harbour holds one of the largest koala populations on the coast of New South Wales, yet this habitat is now at considerable risk. A combination of urban sprawl and a booming logging industry threatens to destroy much of the region’s wildlife habitat. This includes a recent legislative decision to approve 2000 hectares of koala habitat for logging–just one of sixty separate logging applications in areas containing koala habitat that have been approved since 2007.

This cannot be allowed to continue or the animals Australia has worked so hard to bring back from the brink of extinction in 1930 could once again find themselves disappearing from the wild. I urge you to ask the governor of New South Wales to prohibit logging in the Bellingen-Coffs Harbour region.  Protect these animals and their habitat before it is too late.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Bashir,

The koala population has seen a steady decline over the past two centuries. When European settlers first arrived, koalas numbered as many as ten million across Australia. Today, scientists estimate that only 200,000 are alive in the wild. Even this number has only been held due to steady progress made since 1930 when koalas nearly became extinct in Southern Australia.

While not officially considered endangered, koalas are deemed a vulnerable species under the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act. This shows how perilously close these animals are to officially becoming endangered. This risk prevails despite action being taken by organizations such as the Australian Koala Foundation to raise awareness and increase legal protection for these animals.

While these efforts have protected koalas from hunting and poaching, one major threat still remains for this species: habitat destruction. Bellingen-Coffs Harbour is a prime example of habitat concern as deforestation caused by urban sprawl and the logging industry has begun to severely encroach on one of the most populous koala habitats in all of New South Wales.

A recent legislative decision just approved 2000 hectares of koala habitat for logging. This is just one of sixty separate logging applications in areas containing koala habitat that have been approved since 2007. Deforestation on this scale cannot be allowed to continue or the animals Australia has worked so hard to bring back from the brink of extinction in 1930 could once again find themselves disappearing from the wild. I urge you to withdraw the permit allowing for logging in the Bellingen-Coffs Harbour region, as well as stop any future logging in the area. Protect these animals and their habitat before it is too late.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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3 Comments

  1. Australia one disappointment after the other…hipocrits.

  2. I would like to consult you that we are accepting your offer to help us.

  3. Helene Beck says:

    I wrote to Australia last year about Koalas being harmed in Blue Gum plantation during harvesting, and I received a reply, – this can also apply in general to protection of Koalas in South Australia:
    “Dear Sir/Madam,
    Thank you for your correspondence concerning the welfare of Koalas in Blue Gum timber plantations.
    In South Australia, Koalas are protected under the ‘National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972’ and all animals in this State must be treated in accordance with the ‘Animal Welfare Act 1985’.
    Where there are potential breaches of these protections, the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources investigates and, where breaches are found to have occurred, takes action.
    I have asked my Department to investigate recent reports in the media that Koalas are being harmed in the south-east of this State when Blue Gum timber plantations are harvested.
    The South Australian Government is working closely with wildlife protection groups and the plantation timber industry to manage the impacts upon Koalas as a result of Blue Gum timber harvesting. The Government is providing information to timber industry members about best practice harvesting.
    I have asked my Department to review current legislation, policy and codes of practice that protect animal welfare in our State, to ensure that Koalas are protected when Blue Gum timber is harvested.
    I have also asked my Department to work closely with Primary Industries and Regions SA, and the plantation timber industry, to develop policies for privately held forests, to ensure that the industry meets their responsibilities under the ‘National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972’ and the ‘Animal Welfare Act 1985’ ……….”

    Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation
    15/10/2013″

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