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Koala Preservation Society warns: Koala endangered in South East Queensland

Deborah Tabart, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Koala Foundation has written to the Queensland Environment Minister (see below) asking the the status of Koalas in the South East Queensland bio-region be upgraded from their current listing of 'vulnerable' to 'endangered' as a result of the alarming recent increase of Koala deaths. Deborah Tabart wrote:

In Redland Shire alone a total of 362 koalas were taken into care, only 96 animals appear to have survived. A shocking 73.5% death rate. What is more disturbing from these statistics is that the deaths appear to be mainly disease related, which is clearly an indication of stress, which could well be caused by habitat loss. Although many blame cars and dogs as a primary cause of koala deaths, these statistics indicate that those deaths were minor, compared to the diseased animals. This is a disturbing trend.

The letter concluded:

Given these high death rates, it is hard to imagine that koala births in the Redland's Shire are outweighing the deaths, a sure sign of impending localised extinction.

I call on you to immediately upgrade the koala listing to Endangered and give South-East Queensland's koalas a better chance for survival.

Human population growth driving Koalas to extinction

The underlying driver which threatens the Koala with extinction has been the population growth deliberately encouraged by successive Queensland Governments. Since 1974, Queensland's total population has more than doubled from 2 million in 1974 to well over 4 million today. So, it should be little wonder that with their habitats encroached upon by residential estates, roads, industrial estates, quarries, power lines and other infrastructure that the numbers of Koalas and other Australian native wildlife has declined steeply.

Yet, in spite of this, the growing water shortages, the strains on electricity generation, traffic congestion and the overall decline in the quality of life for the human residents of Queensland, the Queensland Government persists with its reckless policy of encouragement of population growth. The latest episode in this saga are to be the planned Work, Live and Play in Queensland" expositions in Sydney from 17-19 August and in Melbourne from 5-7 August. This is to in order to fulfil the plans of the Queensland Government decreed in its 2004 South East Queensland Regional Plan to cram another 1 million into South East Queensland alone by 2026, presumably to suit the property development sector, which funds the Labor Party even more generously than the trade unions.

Unless this population growth is stopped the fight to save the Koala, as well as to preserve what quality is left in the lives of ordinary Queenslanders is doomed.

What you can do

  • Write to Lindy Nelson-Carr Queensland Minister for Environment and Multiculturalism to support the Australian Koala Foundation's call to have the Koala listed as 'endangered' in South East Queensland. (E-mail EandM|AT|ministerial qld gov au or see below for phone numbers or postal address.)
  • Become a supporter of the Australian Koala Foundation
  • Join the Australian Wildlife Protection Council at www.awpc.org.au/newsite/join.php
  • Participate in protests by the 'People Power' group against over development in Redland shire. To Contact the 'People Power' group e-mail people_power |AT| hotmail . com. (For further information visit /SaveMountCotton)
  • Contact the Queensland Government and demand an end to their policy of encouraging population growth
  • Contact the Commonwealth Government and demand an end to their policy of population
    growth through:
    • High immigration (currently at an unofficial, but real, record annual rate of 300,000 up from 68,000 in 1996 - see Ross Gittins' article "Backscratching at a National Level" of 12 June in the Sydney Morning Herald
    • Treasurer Peter Costello's $3,000 baby bonus
  • Vote against politicians who fail to protect Australian wildlife or who encourage population growth
  • Set up an account on this site, if you do not already have one, by visiting /user/registerso that you can contribute your knowledge and ideas. (You may still post comments anonymously but you may have to await the approval of the site administrator, before they are published.)
Letter from the Australian Koala Foundation to the Queensland Minister for the Environment

1st August 2007

Hon Lindy Nelson-Carr,

PO Box 15155
City East 4163

Via fax 3227 6309

Dear Minister,

RE: UPGRADE OF KOALA LISTING TO ENDANGERED

On behalf of the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF), I am writing to ask you to instigate your Ministerial powers under the Nature Conservation Act and list the koala as Endangered throughout the South-East Queensland Bio-region.

As you know a previous Queensland Minister for the Environment, Mr Dean Wells, listed the koala as Vulnerable under the Nature Conservation Act in 2003, and the Beattie Government has subsequently instigated a Koala Conservation Plan.

Although I appreciate the fact that the Koala Conservation Plan has only been in full legislative operation since October of 2006, it is clear from the latest death statistics from both hospitals that koala numbers are plummeting.

I met with your Director General, Mr Terry Wall today and since leaving that meeting I have evaluated one set of koala hospital data for 2006 given to the AKF for the Redlands Shire.

The figures are alarming and overall a decline in koala populations is apparent. In Redland Shire alone a total of 362 koalas were taken into care, only 96 animals appear to have survived. A shocking 73.5% death rate. What is more disturbing from these statistics is that the deaths appear to be mainly disease related, which is clearly an indication of stress, which could well be caused by habitat loss. Although many blame cars and dogs as a primary cause of koala deaths, these statistics indicate that those deaths were minor, compared to the diseased animals. This is a disturbing trend.

My rough estimates for Redlands Shire 2006 data only:

Brought into care Euthanized
or dead
Presumed to
have survived
Death
Rate
Cars 108 88 20 81.5%
Disease 234 158 76 67.5%
Dogs 20 20 0 100%
Total 362 266 96 73.5%

Given these high death rates, it is hard to imagine that koala births in the Redland's Shire are outweighing the deaths, a sure sign of impending localised extinction.

I call on you to immediately upgrade the koala listing to Endangered and give South-East Queensland's koalas a better chance for survival.

Yours sincerely,

Deborah Tabart
Chief Executive Officer.