WWF-Australia says the NSW Government’s announcement today of a new national park, as part of the discredited Koala Strategy, will not prevent koalas from going extinct in the state by as early as 2050.
Excessive tree clearing has caused koala numbers to decline dramatically by one third over the past 20 years to an estimated 20,000 across the state.
WWF is calling for state laws to be changed to prevent excessive tree clearing of koala habitat.
“This new national park in the Southern Highlands only protects 2,200 hectares, which is a mere 0.03% of koala’s habitat in New South Wales,“ said Dr Stuart Blanch, WWF-Australia forest conservation manager
“The park helps protect an important koala population in the Southern Highlands, but it fails to assist the other 36 populations around the state that are declining because of tree clearing,” Dr Blanch said.
“While we need koala sanctuaries, the most effective way of stopping koalas going extinct across millions of hectares of NSW is to pass strong laws to protect koala habitat on private land from being bulldozed.”
There are currently 7 million hectares of koala habitat on private land that can be legally bulldozed.
enquiries: David Crisante, WWF Media Manager, 0428 391 735