Count to sixty. In that one minute period, 19 animals perished in the Southern Australian state of New South Wales (NSW). They are dying because of tree clearing that has become rampant in the state under the government of Gladys Berejiklian, who has written off the environment as a concern for her administration. 19 animals a minute equals a whopping 10 million animal deaths a year in NSW.
According to conservative figures, the government estimates that nearly 2000 square miles of forest have been felled between 1998 and 2015, toppling a forest and woodland area that equals twice the size of Luxembourg. In that time 10.7 million birds, 67.1 million reptiles and 9.1 million mammals have disappeared. One of those mammals is the koala. It might seem unbelievable, but one of Australia's most iconic animals is now under threat of disappearing. In fact, if things don't change, researchers say that the animals could go extinct within our lifetime.
This previously unthinkable headline is mainly because states like NSW have been far too lenient when it comes to clear-cutting in the koala's last remaining ranges. Their survival depends on having enough habitat where they are able to thrive. But without a sound policy that protects vegetation and wildlife, the famous marsupial and many other animals are likely to disappear in short order.
Is this how the Berejiklian government wants to be known? As the administration that let the last remaining koalas in NSW go extinct? We certainly hope not, but we must make sure. Speak up and tell Premier Berejiklian's government that they have a duty to protect New South Wales' koala populations. Sign and ask them to demand tree-clearing restrictions today.