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Koalas face extinction in NSW by 2050, scientists warn

Koalas face extinction in NSW by 2050, scientists warn

Koalas face extinction in NSW by 2050, scientists warn

A new conservation report has found Australia’s very own native marsupial, Koalas face extinction by 2050.

Due to constant land clearing the in the state of New South Wales, these cuddly creatures could very soon be non-existent.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report, 6884ha of natural koala habitat has been destroyed in the past two years alone.

Researchers have used satellite images taken over northern NSW to gauge land clearing and its effects on vulnerable species.

WWF-Australia conservationist Stuart Blanch said: “WWF-Australia estimates there are likely less than 20,000 koalas left in NSW and at the current rate, they are on track to be extinct in the state by early as 2050.”

Conservation biologist, Martin Taylor, who on Friday released the new report on the issue, says that if the rate of clearing wasn’t wound back there could be serious consequences for native wildlife. “We see koala habitat disappearing at an alarming rate,” he said.

Conservationists blame the repeal of the NSW Native Vegetation Act last year and the lack of federal legislation enforcement.

The NSW Government has, however, rubbished Taylor’s warning of possible koala extinction, with the NSW Environment Minister’s office releasing a statement pointing to its ongoing koala strategy.

“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.”

Nine News also reports that Federal New England MP Barnaby Joyce, a former agriculture minister, has rejected the report’s findings.

He tweeted: “Koalas will be extinct by 2050! That is sensational rubbish and makes us doubt all of WWF statements.”

Koalas have inhabited Australia for at least 25 million years.

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