Koalas are officially listed as an endangered species in Australia, despite multi-million dollar investments by the Australian government to protect the iconic animals.
According to the environment minister, Sussan Ley, the animals are at risk from, among other things, “prolonged drought, forest fires, urbanization, diseases and loss of habitat”.
Estimates of the remaining number of koalas in Australia vary widely, but there are said to be between 60,000 and 500,000 koalas still living in the country. By designating the animals as endangered, the government can offer them more protection, according to Ley.
At the end of last month, the Australian government already promised 50 million Australian dollars to protect koalas. That amount came on top of investments totalling 74 million Australian dollars in the past three years.