June 13, 2009 Past Issues No Comments

When your children ask you, ‘What did you do to save the koala?’ what will you say?

The koala is likely to become extinct in South-East

What will you do to save the SEQ koala? Photo © Doreen Payne

What will you do to save the SEQ koala?
Photo © Doreen Payne

Queensland unless the State government and local authorities act now.

A major cause of this devastating slide to extinction is avoidable loss of habitat: lost to roads, housing estates and schools.
The Queensland Government has the power to make the decisions that will stop this loss.

Wildlife Queensland wants you to tell the Queensland Government to make those decisions to stop the destruction of koala habitat now.

Write to the State Environment Minister and sign the Queensland Parliament e‑petition

The issues

Koala population loss

  • In 1999 there were 6250 koalas in the Koala Coast (375 sq km including Redland, Logan and Brisbane cities)
  • By 2006 there were just over 4600
  • By 2008 there were fewer than 2300

So the population has dropped by 65% in 10 years – 50% of that total in just the last 3 years.

Why?

What’s killing koalas?

  • The greatest threat to the koala is loss of habitat. Every development in koala habitat moves the animal closer to extinction.
  • An estimated 80% of koala habitat has probably been destroyed since European settlement. Most of the habitat that is left is private land – almost none of it protected in law
  • Stress causes illness in koalas. Stress is caused by loss of habitat and subsequent overcrowding.
  • Prime killers of koalas are dogs and roads – both of these threats become much worse when there isn’t enough habitat.

What the Queensland Government must do

  • Change the SEQ Regional Plan (release date July 2009) to protect all remaining koala habitat – without exception – in South-East Queensland. More about the SEQ Regional Plan
  • Acquire prime koala habitat for reserves
  • Plan that all the reserves are safely linked to allow koalas to travel
  • Prevent its own agencies from approving developments in koala habitat
  • Ensure local authorities do not approve development in koala habitat.

The Queensland Government needs to do this now. Next month might be too late. Next year certainly will be.

If the South-East Queensland koala becomes extinct, State and local authorities are responsible.

What you can do today

Act today to ask the Queensland Government to act now. Write to the Environment Minister and the Premier, using the information here, and ask them to make the right decisions for wildlife, especially the SEQ koala.

  • Email the Queensland Minister for the Environment, Hon. Kate Jones.
  • Copy your email to the Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh
  • Copy your email to the federal Minister for the Environment, Peter Garrett
  • Copy your email and write a concerned covering note to your local state member of parliament.
  • Sign the Queensland Parliament e-petition.

What WPSQ is doing

Wildlife Queensland continues to campaign against loss of habitat in SEQ, as it has done for many years. Wildlife Queensland has written again to the Queensland Minister for the Environment asking for better protection of koala habitat.

Wildlife Queensland has already asked the Queensland Government to change the SEQ Regional Plan to protect all koala habitat.

Regional Plan recommendations: WPSQ in action

For more information on WPSQ’s campaigns, email or phone +61 (7) 3221 0194.

Written by Wildlifeqld