Australia 'failing to protect koalas'

Environmentalists say government is only taking half-measures in protecting threatened species.

    In a recent move by the government, Australia now considers koalas to be a threatened species, but only in some areas of the country.

    In the last 20 years, the koala population has dropped by 40 per cent in the state of Queensland and by a third in New South Wales.

    It is in those states, as well as the Australian Capital Territory, that they are deemed to need protection.

    Conservationists say the move is only a partial victory, and have accused the ministry of the environment of introducing half-measures.

    Tony Burke, the federal environment minister, has said the decision is justified because koala numbers are stable in other parts of the country.

    The ruling was made after a three-year study by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

    Al Jazeera's Florence Looi reports.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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