The World Wildlife Fund and the Wide Bay Burnett Environment Council fear that 5000ha of forest between Queensland’s  Maryborough and Hervey Bay could be cleared for sugar plantations, threatening already vulnerable koala populations.

Koala conservation takes an unusual turn.
Koala conservation takes an unusual turn.

Koalas are listed as vulnerable to extinction in Queensland. To aid their case for protecting the forest area a koala poo-sniffing dog called Maya has been recruited to demonstrate the bushland has conservation value as a wildlife habitat.

The government will shortly release the latest satellite data on land-clearing which it is believed to have tripled in five years from 78,000ha a year in 2009 to 2010 to around 280,000ha in 2013 to 2014 after the government eased regulations. Much of the clearing has occurred in Great Barrier Reef catchments which can lead to coral-killing sediment run-off.

World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef was close to being listed as endangered in a 2015 review by UNESCO. Read more: 

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