Koalas have experienced declines over large areas of their range even before the effects of the current 2019/20 fire season have been taken into account.
This report, commissioned by IFAW and prepared by the Biolink research group, is the first comprehensive assessment of changes to the distribution and abundance of koalas as measured across three generations of koalas and culminating in the 2019/20 fire season.
The report quantifies the impacts of recent fire events on koalas in the context of broader population trends across New South Wales over the past three generations of koalas. Nearly 5,000 koalas are estimated to have perished in this time, nearly 12% of the population. Up to 66% of the population has been lost over the past three generations.
With climate change and high-frequency fire only likely to increase, there are significant challenges for the longer-term survival, and for many populations the chances of recovery are unlikely.