Loss of habitat is reducing the number of koala bears. These marsupials are native to Australia, but they would enter the list of endangered species unless corrective action is taken on priority. The reasons are prolonged drought and bushfires, which could be effects of global warming. This is a subject that has to be addressed at all levels. Apart from this, there is also the human factor. This is because of cutting down trees in the name of development.

As the population of a country increases, there is a need to expand infrastructure like housing, roads, etcetera.

Both are necessary. People must have a place to stay, and roads are necessary to travel from one place to another. Trees are sacrificed to accommodate these demands. Consequently, wildlife loses its habitats, and the environment loses its importance.

CNN says scientists and academics have warned the government about the possible loss of the koala bears. Experts want the authorities to intervene and extend protection to them and their habitat. Sussan Ley is the environment minister. She says: "The new listing highlights the challenges the species is facing." She adds that some of the vulnerable koalas would now be included in the endangered list.

Some reasons for the loss of the marsupials in Australia

In 2018, the number of koalas in Australia dropped from 80,000 to less than 58,000. The Australian Koala Foundation has made this disclosure. The worst situation was in New South Wales. In this region, the decline was around 41 percent. The overall loss was about 30 percent in the past three years.

CNN adds that a World-Wide Fund for Nature reveals bushfires in 2019 and 2020 killed or injured thousands of koalas. The fires covered more than 65,630 square miles, equivalent to an area half the size of Germany. Apart from these fires, another factor responsible for the decline of the koalas is deforestation in agriculture, urban development, mining, etc.

The habitat of koalas is usually in eucalypt forests. These are located in the eastern states and on the coastal fringes.

The decline in numbers forced Australia to list the koala as endangered

According to the BBC, the koalas are unique to Australia, but their numbers have dramatically declined. Therefore, the marsupials have been tagged as an endangered species across most of its east coast. The authorities have to evolve strategies to protect koalas from rapidly diminishing habitats and climate change. Their survival is at stake because of human-related activities, disease, and other threats.

In 2012, Australia listed koalas as vulnerable

As far back as 2012, Australia was aware of the decline.

The species entered the list of "vulnerable" in those states and territories. However, in spite of the rapid deterioration, governments delayed action to conserve the koala. The BBC says Environment Minister Sussan Ley indicated officials were designing a recovery plan. A New South Wales inquiry found that koalas would be extinct unless there was urgent action. The bushfires of 2019-20 had killed thousands of koalas and affected their habitats. Scientists warn that climate change is another factor to be considered. It can lead to conditions that might be harmful to the animals.