Report shows koala habitat cleared in southeast Queensland
ALMOST 400ha of koala habitat – an area about the same size as the Brisbane CBD – was cleared in the Logan and Scenic Rim after land clearing controls were weakened by the Campbell Newman government.
Research by WWF scientist Martin Taylor shows that koalas lost a state-wide total of 40,312ha of habitat in just two years.
Dr Taylor said of the overall clearing, 202ha of koala habitat had been lost in the Scenic Rim from 2012 to 2014 and 182ha in Logan City.
“It’s highly likely more habitat was cleared in Logan and the Scenic Rim since mid 2014 when official maps end,’’ he said.
“...Koalas are being isolated in smaller and smaller patches of forest.
“They’re cut off from new territory, there’s not enough food to support a viable population and no injection of new genetic diversity.
“So they enter a downward spiral and die out in that area.’’
Opposition natural resources spokesman Andrew Cripps said all clearing permits issued by the Newman government were robustly assessed.
“The so-called map of vegetation management activities in koala habitat areas is just a Google map constructed by green activists to drum-up a story,” he said.
“Any permits ... would have been assessed against Environment Department koala habitat maps.”
Logan and Albert Conservation Association spokeswoman Anne Page said Logan and Scenic Rim koala populations were unknown.
“No official koala surveys have been conducted to identify and map (local) koala areas,’’ she said.
The Federal Environment Department estimates that between 1990 and 2010 koalas declined by 42 per cent in Queensland and NSW.
Koalas have been reported in Logan Village, Chambers Flat, Park Ridge, Park Ridge South, Munruben Woods, Munruben Forest, Greenbank, New Beith, Flagstone, North Maclean, Tamborine, Mundoolun, Jimboomba, Stockleigh, Yarrabilba, Buccan, Veresdale Scrub, Cedar Vale, Canungra, Palen Creek, Mt Barney, Rathdowney, Cedar Creek, Wolffdene, Rathdowney, Beaudesert, and Bromelton.
Anne is an experienced community advocate who has lived in Munruben in Division 7 for 25 years. She has worked as a full time teacher for the last 25 years, and has been a community volunteer for the past 11 years.