World Animal Day: Australia's Koalas Are Among Dozens Under Extinction Threat After Bushfires

This summer's Australia bushfire may have upgraded the threat status of dozens of species in the country

The wildlife population has been dropping drastically due to overconsumption, population growth, intensive agriculture, and also because of climate change. After the bushfire disaster in Australia, this summer the Koala and dozens of other animals are now being considered as endangered.

Several species, including reptiles, mammals, frogs, fishes, and birds are now believed to be in a very critical position in terms of their survival rate. The summer's bushfire and the ongoing habitat destruction on the east coast of Australia have aggravated their threat status and forced the government to launch an assessment to find out how many species will be labeled as vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered.

Picture for representation
Koalas are sliding towards extinction Reuters

The Wildlife Is Under Threat

One of the animals in Australia, the greater glider has lost 30 percent of its natural habitat due to the bush fire. The animal, whose population is decreasing, is also being assessed to determine whether it should consider being an endangered species in Australia. Even many fish and frog species, including the Blue Mountains perch and Pugh's frog, are being considered for critically endangered listings.

Many species from the Kangaroo Island—lies off the mainland of South Australia, in the southwest of Adelaide—including the birds, Kangaroo Island white-eared honeyeater and crimson rosella, are among those species being assessed for an endangered listing.

Australia's federal environment minister, Sussan Ley has asked the threatened species scientific committee to complete all the assessments by October 30, 2021.

'Sliding towards Extinction'

Australia bushfires reach Canberra
Australia bushfires Twitter / Scotty Imhoff

The assessment for Koala will apply to the combined population of the species in Queensland, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory—where this summer the bushfire affected over 10 percent of the population. As reported, the species population also under threat on the east coast due to continuous habitat destruction, disease, and drought.

Josey Sharrad, of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said that the koalas on Australia's east coast have been "sliding towards extinction." Sharrad also said that immediate action was required to bring the koala species back from being extinct.

As per the latest New South Wales parliamentary inquiry report, the koalas would be extinct in the state by 2050, if the authorities won't take any urgent action to protect the habitat and help the species to recover.

Another report from a review of Australia's conservation laws said that governments had failed to protect the country's unique wildlife. However, currently, the government has a bill before the parliament to devolve decision-making powers under national environmental laws to the states.