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Koala’s vs. Quarry: Extinction on the cards for one of them!

Port Stephens koala campaigners have been fighting a decision for the expansion at Brandy Hill Quarry amid concerns for the local koala population. Susan Ley, the federal environment minister, has decided to delay her decision until October 13th. She waits for further information on the impact this expansion will have on the resident koala population. This includes healthy male, female, and baby koalas living in this area.

 

Report finds a huge reduction in koala numbers

Following the bushfire season at the beginning of the year, the WWF commissioned a report. The goal was to find out the impact the fires have had on our koala population. The news wasn’t good. There has been a 71% reduction in koala numbers in 6 key locations across northern NSW. One area in particular there were no koalas found which ignited calls for koalas to be classed as an endangered species. 

Surely our koalas are worth saving? The Australian industry based around our koalas is valued at a whopping $3.2 billion each year. They generate around 30,000 jobs in the tourism sector as well.

 

Port Stephens campaigners raising concerns

With this in mind, campaigners in Port Stephens are voicing their concerns. The area planned for expanding the quarry is a place where koalas are known to breed. Just this week a scat (koala poo) dog, detected scat from a mother and baby koala located only 1 kilometre away. If the expansion goes ahead a fragile koala corridor would be divided and block the east to west movement of the local koala population. This was detailed in a report by the University of Newcastle wildlife conservation scientist and conservation biologist.

 

Koala population under threat

The bushfires had such a devastating impact on the koala habitat in the local area. With the massive decline in koala numbers since last summer’s bushfires, it’s felt that the expansion plans need to be reviewed. When the initial report was conducted, which allowed the expansion to go ahead, these factors were not taken into account. This area is so important to koalas and being such prime koala habitat, it would have a catastrophic effect on what’s left of the local koala population. Dr Witt, from the University of Newcastle, feels that the expansion would have a critical effect on the population. 

If you would like to find out more about supporting our local Port Stephens koala population click here: Save Port Stephens Koalas

 


 

References:

WWF report finds 71pc decline in koala numbers across northern NSW bushfire-affected areas {Accessed 9/9/20}

DECISION ON BRANDY HILL QUARRY EXPANSION DELAYED {Accessed 9/9/20}

Federal government under pressure to reject Brandy Hill quarry expansion {Accessed 9/9/20}

The koala is worth $3.2 billion & 30,000 jobs {Accessed 9/9/20}

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