New data suggests that the number of Koalas in Australia has decreased by 30 percent within three years, Australian online newspaper News reported on Monday.
Australia was once home to eight million marsupials, the online news outlet reported, whereas now there are only around 30,000, suggesting a staggering decline.
Koalas have only recently become extinct in seven regions - where the mammals were present in 2018- and some areas have only around five to ten koalas left, according to the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF).
It has been estimated that there are only around 32,000 to 58,000 koalas left in the wild, down from 46,000 to 82,000, approximate figures from three years ago.
These numbers are much fewer than official government estimates that put koala numbers as high as 500,000.
An ecologist told the news media that koalas were “stuffed” and that it was only a matter of time before they became extinct.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw the numbers. There used to be five electorates with more than 5,000 animals and now there’s only two and it’s shocking that it’s happened in just three years,” AKF chair Deborah Tabart said.
“I’ve counted the dead bodies of koalas in Queensland. Over seven years there’s been something like 20,000 of them,” she added, blaming political parties for not doing enough to save the mammals.