Conserving koalas: A review of the contrasting regional trends, outlooks and policy challenges

McAlpine, Clive, Lunney, Daniel, Melzer, Alistair, Menkhorst, Peter, Phillips, Stephen, Phalen, David, Ellis, William, Foley, William, Baxter, Greg, de Villiers, Deidre, Kavanagh, Rodney, Adams-Hosking, Christine, Todd, Charles, Whisson, Desley, Molsher, Robyn, Walter, Michele, Lawler, Ivan and Close, Robert 2015, Conserving koalas: A review of the contrasting regional trends, outlooks and policy challenges, Biological conservation, vol. 192, pp. 226-236.

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Title Conserving koalas: A review of the contrasting regional trends, outlooks and policy challenges
Author(s) McAlpine, Clive
Lunney, Daniel
Melzer, Alistair
Menkhorst, Peter
Phillips, Stephen
Phalen, David
Ellis, William
Foley, William
Baxter, Greg
de Villiers, Deidre
Kavanagh, Rodney
Adams-Hosking, Christine
Todd, Charles
Whisson, DesleyORCID iD for Whisson, Desley
Molsher, Robyn
Walter, Michele
Lawler, Ivan
Close, Robert
Journal name Biological conservation
Volume number 192
Start page 226
End page 236
Total pages 11
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015-12-01
ISSN 0006-3207
Keyword(s) Multiple interacting threats
Regional differences
Implementation gap
Large-scale mining
Local extinction
Summary The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), one of the world's most iconic faunal species, was recently listed under Australian government legislation as vulnerable in the northern states of Queensland and New South Wales and in the Australian Capital Territory, but not in the southern states of Victoria and South Australia. This review synthesises empirical evidence of regional koala population trends, their conservation outlook, and associated policy challenges. Population declines are common in the northern half of the koala's range, where habitat loss, hotter droughts, disease, dog attacks and vehicle collisions are the major threats. In contrast, some southern populations are locally overabundant and are now subject to managed declines. The koala presents the problem of managing a wide-ranging species that now primarily occurs in human-modified landscapes, some of which are rapidly urbanising or subject to large-scale agricultural and mining developments. Climate change is a major threat to both northern and southern populations. The implementation of policy to conserve remaining koala habitat and restore degraded habitat is critical to the success of koala conservation strategies, but habitat conservation alone will not resolve the issues of koala conservation. There needs to be concerted effort to reduce the incidence of dog attack and road-related mortality, disease prevalence and severity, and take into account new threats of climate change and mining. Many of the complex conservation and policy challenges identified here have broader significance for other species whose population trends, and the nature of the threatening processes, vary from region to region, and through time.
Language eng
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
160507 Environment Policy
05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
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