THE AUSTRALIAN government has listed koalas as “vulnerable” in parts of the country, adding them to a list of protected species.
Australia’s Environment Minister Tony Burke designated koala populations in Queensland, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory as ‘vulnerable’.
Burke said the move was made in response to public concerns about the protection of the species and from scientific studies into koalas.
“My decision to list the koala under national environment law follows a rigorous scientific assessment by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee which gathered information from a variety of experts over the past three years,” the minister said.
“Koala populations are under serious threat from habitat loss and urban expansion, as well as vehicle strikes, dog attacks, and disease.”
The koala was not being listed nationally because koala populations vary so much across the country, he explained.
In pictures: koalas