AT RISK: Environmentalists are calling for the immediate halt to logging operations to protect koalas.
AT RISK: Environmentalists are calling for the immediate halt to logging operations to protect koalas. Trevor Veale

Calls to stop logging to protect koala population decimation

THERE has been a call for the immediate stop of logging "core koala habitat” in forests around Coffs Harbour.

Greens spokeswoman and Coffs Harbour City Councillor, Sally Townley, said State Forests from Coffs Harbour to Kempsey contained significant colonies of koalas.

"There is compelling evidence that NSW Forest Corporation is not following its own guidelines and has targeted high quality koala habitat by increasing logging intensity since 2010,” Cr Townley said.

She said conservation of State Forest was the best chance of conserving koalas in the long term.

It is believed koala populations have declined in NSW by an estimated 26% over the past 15-21 years
It is believed koala populations have declined in NSW by an estimated 26% over the past 15-21 years Trevor Veale

NSW Greens MP Dawn Walker echoed the calls to end native forest logging and highlighted finding in the Clearing Koala Away report by environmentalist Dailan Pugh.

In that report, it was stated 74,906ha of public native forests had been extensively cleared in logging operations from Forestry Corporation documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request.

"Intensive native forest logging is completely inappropriate on the North Coast, which has already suffered a 50% reduction in koala populations over the last 20 years, primarily due to habitat loss,” Ms Walker said.

North Coast Environmental Council's Susie Russell said about one in every three hectares of forest that had been cleared was "high quality koala habitat”.

Koala populations have declined in NSW by an estimated 26% over the past 15-21 years.

Without intervention, this level of decline is likely to continue.

The NSW Government is currently developing a 'NSW Koala Strategy' which will "outline the actions needed to stabilise and then start to increase koala numbers”.

Forestry Corporation has been contacted.



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