Update! Koalas Are Now Listed As Endangered In Most Of Eastern Australia; Move Follows Prime Minister’s $50 Million Initiative To Protect Koalas Throughout The Country

Update: February 24, 2022

Koalas in Queensland, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory are now considered an endangered species. The news follows an announcement earlier this month that Australia is planning to invest a record $50 million to boost the long-term protection and recovery efforts for the country’s koalas.

As previously reported by WAN, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison explained that the funding will help to assemble a team of esteemed researchers, land managers, veterinarians, and citizen scientists in an effort to further protect the native species.

“We are taking unprecedented action to protect the koala, working with scientists, medical researchers, veterinarians, communities, states, and local governments,” Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley recently said in a statement. “Today, I am increasing the protection for koalas in NSW, the ACT and Queensland listing them as endangered rather than their previous designation of vulnerable.”

Minister Ley pointed to the “impact of prolonged drought, followed by the black summer bushfires, and the cumulative impacts of disease, urbanization, and habitat loss over the past twenty years,” as issues that contributed to her decision.

“The new listing highlights the challenges the species is facing and ensures that all assessments under the Act will be considered not only in terms of their local impacts, but with regard to the wider koala population,” Minister Ley concluded.

February 3, 2022

Australia will invest a record $50 million to boost the long-term protection and recovery efforts for the country’s koalas. In 2021, there was estimated to be between 32,000 and 57,920 koalas left in the country.

According to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the funding will help to assemble a team of esteemed researchers, land managers, veterinarians, and citizen scientists in an effort to further protect the native species.

“Our $50 million investment will enhance the protection of koalas by restoring koala habitat, improving our understanding of koala populations, supporting training in koala treatment and care, and strengthening research into koala health outcomes,” the Prime Minister said in a statement. “Koalas are one of Australia’s most loved and best recognized icons, both here at home and across the world, and we are committed to protecting them for generations to come.”

Robert Irwin joined the Prime Minister to announce a record $50 million investment toward protecting koalas.

The additional $50 million investment over the next four years includes:

  • $20 million for habitat and health protection projects: grants for large-scale activities run by Natural Resource Management and non-government organizations, industry, and Indigenous groups, as well as state and territory governments.

  • $10 million for community-led initiatives: grants for local habitat protection and restoration activities, health and care facilities, and citizen science projects.

  • $10 million to extend the National Koala Monitoring Program: to identify trends over time, increase the number of sites sampled, and support the participation of citizen scientists.

  • $2 million to improve Koala health outcomes: grants for applied research activities and practical application to address health challenges.

  • $1 million for Koala care, treatment and triage: expanding and continuing national training for veterinarians and nurses to care for and treat koalas.

This new package will take the Morrison Government’s koala investment to more than $74 million.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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