Sydney — Australia unveiled on Monday a A$45m (US$34m) plan to help bring its koala population back from the brink, following a rapid decline in the furry marsupial’s fortunes. The Australian Koala Foundation estimates there may be as few as 43,000 koalas left in the wild, down from a population believed to number more than 10-million before European settlement of the continent in 1788. "Koalas are a national treasure," said Gladys Berejiklian, premier of New South Wales state, in announcing her government’s conservation plan. "It would be such a shame if this nationally iconic marsupial did not have its future secured." Habitat loss, dog attacks, car strikes, climate change and disease have taken their toll on one of Australia’s most recognisable animals. Studies show a 26% decline in the koala population in New South Wales over the past 15-20 years. The state lists the species as "vulnerable", while in other parts of the country they are effectively extinct. Under the A$45m plan, ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now