Conservation bodies have welcomed the funding for the beloved animals, but say it should be accompanied by a plan to tackle climate change and deforestation, which are the two biggest contributors to declining koala populations.
“We are delighted to see the government investing in koalas and helping with some of the key recovery actions needed to save them from extinction after the devastating bushfires of 2019-2020,” the WWF-spokeswoman said. Australia, Tanya Pritchard.
“This money is much needed, but without stronger laws and major landowner incentives to protect koala habitat, their forest homes will continue to be razed and demolished.
“Koalas are the face of our forests, but we continue to clean up the habitat of many priority populations.”
Ms Pritchard said further steps to protect koalas should be taken, including listing them as an endangered species on Australia’s east coast.
Mr Morrison said today the government was ‘committed to protecting them (the koalas) for generations to come’.
“Our $50 million investment will strengthen koala protection by restoring koala habitat, improving our understanding of koala populations, supporting training in koala treatment and care, and strengthening research on the outcomes of koala health,” he said.
The $50 million investment will include $20 million for grants for habitat and health protection projects, $10 million for community initiatives, $10 million for the national koalas, $2 million to improve health outcomes for koalas, and $1 million for training veterinarians and nurses. to care for koalas.
Environment Minister Sussan Ley said the funding would also help conserve other native species.
“Importantly, the additional funding will build on work already underway across koala range to restore and connect important habitat patches, control wild animal and plant species, and improve the existing habitat,” said Minister Ley.
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The announcement comes as Mr Morrison embarks on the campaign trail across Queensland ahead of the federal election, which is due to be held in May.