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March 20, 2024

Koala Haven in the Making: Australian Logging Bans

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Australian officials have been working to start a ‘Koala Haven’ where koalas can live in harmony without the chance of their homes being destroyed by logging companies. Out of 750,000 acres of land, 21,000 acres have been protected, banning the logging companies from cutting down those trees. Though such a feat has been completed, logging is likely to continue in the other half of the park, destroying so many potential and inhabited homes for these animals. 

It has been reported that “The Great Koala National Park” in Coffs Harbour has been labeled “the most important Koala habitat in the world” and contains almost 20% of the remaining Koala population, roughly 4,500 koalas. There are 106 “koala hubs,” which are localized populations, even resembling little koala communities. This is a huge gathering, seeing as the population of koalas has fallen more than 50% between 2000 and the present day. This is because they keep getting relocated out of the forests to escape the logging companies. And of course, these businesses need a continuous stream of money to keep them running, and for the logging industry, this is to cut down forests. The very forests that koalas need in order to not only survive, but to thrive. 

With a high density of trees and water sources, koalas are able to live safely and comfortably in these forests. Now more than ever, it is important that we, as a society, help protect these animals. Not only are Koalas the only living part of the phascolarctidae family, but most are now infertile from being infected with chlamydia. Even if most koalas were indeed able to have babies, each koala only has about 4-5 joeys in their lifetime, not nearly enough to dramatically increase the population. 

Not only will protecting this forest protect the animals living there, but it will also raise a lot of money for the country itself. Many tourists will want to go somewhere they are almost guaranteed to see Koalas. Tourists will flock to The Great Koala National Park, supporting both airports and individual companies. The tourists will need places to eat and sleep during their stay in Australia, leaving them to pay for hotels and restaurants. Funding could also potentially go to protecting more forests where koalas inhabit, hopefully bringing them back from the endangered list. With the constant outbreak of wildfires and many droughts, these animals are already in danger of dying every day, cutting down their homes is just another way to kill them off, eventually making them go extinct. There are many reasons not to aid in the extinction of animals, both morally and environmentally. 

Koalas help out the environment by clearing out forests, giving the forest almost a reset. The clearing of the brush leaves room for other plants to grow, while the eating of the leaves in the trees allows for more sunlight to shine on the forest floors. The Koala’s feces also help feed the forest floor’s ecosystem. The scat fertilizes the ground to create biodiversity and also feeds the small mammals and insects that live there. 

So these logging bans will also be protecting many other species, not only koalas, though these are the only known critically endangered animals that live in these forests. It is estimated that the Australian government will be able to get log bans on the rest of the forest by the year 2026, but sooner is much better than later.

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About the Contributor
Mitchell Sherman is a sophomore who lives with her grandparents, dogs, and other pets. Her hobbies include but are not limited to, crocheting, sewing, herbology, gardening, and baking.

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