Anzecc Gl National Koala Conservation Strategy 199801


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    NATIONAL KOALA CONSERVATION STRATEGY JANUARY 1998  AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION COUNCIL CONTENTS  National Koala Conservation Strategy 2   SUMMARY 3 FOREWORD 4 THE NEED FOR A NATIONAL STRATEGY 5 GOAL 8 RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS   9 GUIDING PRINCIPLES 9 OBJECTIVES 10 OBJECTIVE 1 10 OBJECTIVE 2 11 OBJECTIVE 3 12 OBJECTIVE 4 13 OBJECTIVE 5 13 OBJECTIVE 6 14  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 14  National Koala Conservation Strategy 3 SUMMARY The koala is an important part of Australia’s natural and cultural heritage. While it is still relatively abundant and widespread on a national basis and does not meet national criteria for listing as endangered or vulnerable at this time, the koala is clearly declining in parts of its range and because of its cultural significance there is much public and scientific concern about its conservation. The  ANZECC National Koala Conservation Strategy has been prepared to deal with the many important management issues facing one of Australia’s most high profile species and aims to provide a national framework for the conservation of the koala in all States and Territories in which it naturally occurs. The conservation status of the koala varies across its range and so do the conservation issues. The Strategy outlines the range of management issues and sets out objectives and approaches for addressing them. The main management issues for koalas in the wild are identified as clearing, fragmentation and degradation of habitat, disease, natural disasters, roads, dogs and over-browsing. The objectives of the Strategy address conservation of koalas in their existing habitat, restoration of degraded habitat, the need to better understand the conservation biology of the koala, education, management of captive, sick or injured koalas and management of over-browsing. The conservation of the koala is a complex task requiring an integrated management approach including input from the community and from all levels of government. It is envisaged that the Strategy will be a dynamic document which will be reviewed and updated regularly by ANZECC.  National Koala Conservation Strategy 4  FOREWORD The koala is an important national symbol and one that arouses considerable public support, being the definitive “cute and cuddly” mammal. It is something of an Australian icon, particularly among international visitors. The koala is also an important component of Australia's biodiversity. Like many other native animals it has suffered declines due to the extensive habitat clearing and fragmentation which started with European settlement and which continues today. On a national basis the koala is not yet threatened with extinction, however, there is no doubt that it is declining and the time to act, to ensure that this does not happen, is now. Concern for the conservation of the species is not new. The koala has been in trouble before. In the early part of this century it became extinct in South Australia and there were severe declines in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, as a result of clearing and in combination with hunting, disease, fire and drought. At that time, concerns resulted in protective legislation and establishment of island colonies, which were then used to repopulate habitat in Victoria and South Australia. Protecting and managing koalas today is a complex task. Much of their habitat occurs on private land where there are many competing landuses for the remaining forest areas and the range of management issues is as varied and wide as the distribution of the koala. The need for a strategic approach to the management of koalas has become urgent, to assist managers and to maximise the effectiveness of conservation efforts. This Strategy has been developed jointly by the Commonwealth, States and Territories through the  Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC). It aims to provide a national framework for the conservation of koalas. The success of the Strategy will hinge on the participation of the community, conservation groups, local government authorities and researchers, working cooperatively with State and Commonwealth authorities. The issue of culling was considered in the development of the Strategy. Culling as a management tool was rejected by Ministers at the meeting of Council in May 1996. Similarly, the deliberate introduction of Chlamydia  to populations free of Chlamydia is not supported by the National Koala Network as a management tool for population control. Community ownership of this Strategy will be vital for its successful implementation. Accordingly, public comment was sought on the draft Strategy and submissions were considered by the National Koala Network in preparation of the final Strategy.   Deleted: ,
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