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Koalas extinct? Hardly. “Nearly everything you have read or heard about koalas is wrong”

Since Europeans arrived Koalas have been booming and busting

The calls were out this week saying that koalas will be extinct in New South Wales in 30 years. But they didn’t mention that Koalas thrive and multiply so fast that in the right conditions scientists talk of ‘plagues’. On Kangaroo Island last year, there were so many koalas, the South Australian government has been trying to sterilize or relocate thousands of them over the last twenty years.  Periodically scientists even discuss whether we have to cull them (the horror!).

They’ve survived twenty megafires in 200 years. They can recover. Ponder that Koalas were only introduced to Kangaroo Island in the 1930′s but by the 1990′s there were 14,000 of them and even though they are considered a tourism asset they are also considered a problem and pest too.

“Nearly everything you have read or heard about koalas, is wrong” — Vic Jurskis

Photo, Koala eating young gum leaves.

Koalas favorite snack  |      Photo by pen_ash

Vic Jurskis is a veteran forester and fire expert who studied them for years. He’s written The Great Koala Scam, Green propaganda, junk science government waste and cruelty.

Jurskis estimates that thanks to European settlers there are more koalas now than there were 250 years ago.

He describes how koalas have been booming and busting for two centuries. Before the first fleet arrived, koalas were so rare that the new settlers didn’t even see one for fifteen years! But after the indigenous cool burns programs stopped, dense forests grew which were choc-full of tender new shoots that koalas love to eat. So koala populations would flourish and boom right up until a fire wiped them out. In other areas farmers cleared land, but the “paddock” trees would get sick and resprout continuously, which also worked out pretty well for koalas. So koalas boomed in the valleys too. Sooner or later a drought would come and the valley koalas would starve and get sick themselves.

Jurskis recommends we use koala rescue funds to start doing better forest management with cool burns so the megafires don’t incinerate the next oversupply of koalas. It’s a man-made cycle of pain and suffering.

You’d think The Guardian and The ABC would be able to give us a more rounded view, especially since they covered the boom stories and the Koala Wars.  Here’s the ABC in 2002:

Scientists say the only solution to this crisis is to begin culling Koalas. Against the scientists are people who believe we need to be creating more habitats or the koalas. The Australian Koala Foundation are planting wildlife corridors to link koala habitats. But the scientists say this is just going to feed the problem – wherever the koalas have been introduced they thrive and eventually destroy their habitat.

Last year gave up sterilizing them to stop the plague on Kangaroo Island:

Koala and kangaroo culling considered as numbers become ‘overabundant’

  A report from a parliamentary inquiry has recommended the state’s environment minister make an immediate decision to declare koalas, western grey kangaroos, long-nosed fur seals and little corellas overabundant in some areas. The committee heard that sterilisation of the Kangaroo Island koala population had had little success.“Population numbers on the Island continue to rise and their impacts are threatening its biodiversity,” the report says. — The Guardian, 12th July 2019

This year, plagues in Victoria too:

Blue gum plantations in south west Victoria fuelling huge koala populations

Eucalyptus trees provide the main food source for koalas, so it’s no surprise huge numbers of them are gravitating to the vast blue gum plantations in south west Victoria. So much so that landowners nearby are reporting koala populations are growing to “plague proportions”. New research shows the skyrocketing koala populations are becoming unsustainable and damaging vegetation. — ABC February 2020

Koalas on Kangaroo Island went from zero to plague proportions in just 60 years

From a blog called ConvictCreations, we get a colorful history of how South Australia dealt with the dilemma of culling cute koalas:

Koalas were introduced to Kangaroo Island in the 1930s. By the 1990s, their populations had reached almost 14,000. Although they were the jewel in the Kangaroo Island’s ecotourism crown, some scientists believed they had no right to be on the island. According to David Paton, an environmental scientist from the University of Adelaide, there was a hierarchy of animals rights on Kangaroo Island, and the koalas’ rights were close to the bottom. In his own words:

“You are going to cause major problems for other species — other species that are endemic to the island. Those things have a right, a greater right, to be here than koalas.”

As a compromise between the environmental scientists that wanted to kill them and the tourism operators that wanted to conserve them, between 1997 and 2005, the South Australian government paid for the sterilisation of 3,400 adult koalas and relocated a further 1,000 to the mainland. Each sterilisation cost around $140. Needless to say, the remaining koalas kept breeding and environmental scientists kept asking for more money to manage the koala problem and run public “education campaigns” about the problem. For whatever reason, the government then decided there wasn’t a problem and ceased funding. Mysteriously, the koalas then developed a disease which dropped their populations by half.

 They’ve survived megafires, drought and disease. Jurskis uses the term “irrupting” which means a sudden increase in an animal population.

Bushfires and Koalas: It’s Not That Simple

Vic Jurskis, Quadrant, 27th Feb, 2020

Before Australia’s fire regime changed, koalas were naturally rare because they eat tender, juicy and nutritious new leaves which are a rare commodity in healthy, mature eucalypt forests. Europeans didn’t see a live koala until 15 years after they arrived in Australia. The Sydney Gazette of August 21, 1803, reported that “its food consists solely of gum leaves, in the choice of which it is excessively nice”. This was common knowledge for more than a century.

In total, there were 20 megafires in 200 years. Koalas are still there in unnaturally high densities. There is an average of one koala per three hectares anywhere that monkey gums, blue gums or yellow stringybarks grow.

… koalas irrupted in the dense young forests that grew up after the demise of the Yowenjerre people. Koalas have persisted for 150 years despite heavy clearing and repeated megafires. The experts claim that clearing and hunting caused extreme declines and loss of genetic diversity in Victoria’s koalas.  However, the South Gippsland population is supposed to be “of high conservation significance” as a population retaining its naturally diverse gene pool.

The $3 million being handed out by Minister Ley would better be spent reintroducing mild fire to areas burnt at high intensities, before the scrub bounces back. This was the recommendation of traditional burning expert Victor Steffensen at the Koala Inquiry on December 9 (p. 27).

While-ever our leaders continue to take advice from green academics and bureaucrats, emergency services generalissimos and misguided children, instead of people who know and love the land, our future will get progressively sadder and badder.

Vic Jurskis, a veteran forester and fire expert, is the author of the just-published The Great Koala Scam: green propaganda, junk science, government waste & cruelty to animalsIt can be ordered here

Inquiry into Koala Populations, Parliament House, NSW, December 9th, 2019 [PDF]

Vic Jurskis explained the situation late last year to the NSW Parliament. From page 7 onwards:

I am one of very few who have studied natural koalas. They live in large home ranges with thousands of trees, so you do not see them. Healthy old trees mostly have poor, hard, dry leaves that cannot sustain koalas. They move long distances to find fresh browse. Explorers did not see them in the valleys because they were not there. John Gould wrote that they could rarely be detected, even with the help of Aborigines. After settlers cleared paddocks, sowed pastures and disrupted Aboriginal burning, koalas erupted because dense young forests with millions of new shoots grew up in the foothills. Paddock trees got sick and started turning over new shoots all the time, so koalas invaded the valleys. The fur industry was a response.

In the Federation drought, trees were not able to keep reshooting, so koalas suffered starvation and chlamydiosis. They died out in the valleys but they survived in the forests. After World War II, timber cutters got chainsaws and tractors. Intensive harvesting created dense young forests and koalas bred up again. Then we stopped burning and grazing and locked up most of the forests. Trees got sick again; now koalas and scrub are erupting through declining forests—both regrowth and old growth. The dense population in the Pilliga crashed again in the millennium drought, whereas low-density populations continued to erupt.

Nearly everything you have read or heard about koalas, including NSW Koala Strategy, is wrong because it is based on denial of history and unwitting studies of unsustainably dense populations. NGOs and national parks service rely on misinformation to support fundraising, political campaigns and land grabs. The Senate inquiry swallowed it whole. When Mr Singh, who is now the member for Coffs Harbour, called it out, AAP FactCheck said his statement was false. They quoted the ridiculous Senate report and World Wildlife Fund report about millions of koalas in 1788.

You have got my ecological history. It was submitted, refereed and accepted as a review—the only reasonably comprehensive review of koalas that has ever been published. After they announced its imminent publication, CSIRO rebadged it as an opinion piece, implying a low standard. When I challenged AAP, they used this to deny the facts. But I am here today to share the facts with you. As I wrote in my submission in July, denial of history leads us to set up reserves of dying trees and scrub for unsustainable populations. Then they face lingering death in droughts or incineration in megafires. You have got five photos of a koala that I saw crossing the highway south of Eden Wednesday before last, where Dr Lunney says they are extinct. I will use them to illustrate the problem with koalas and fires. Thank you.

Here’s the nub of it:

The Hon. PENNY SHARPE: You are very critical of the NSW Koala Strategy. What is wrong with it, in your view?

Mr JURSKIS: It aims to stabilise and then increase populations, when there are already too many koalas because of the unhealthy, chronically declining forest. That is the same reason why we are having uncontrollable wildfires: It is because of the structure of the forest. As Victor Steffensen says, it is upside-down country: It is thinning on top and thick underneath. I would like to refer to those photos that you have got. For example, the first photo—if you have a look at the ground you can see it is all litter and dead wood. There is no grass or herbs or anything. That is where all the biodiversity is in a healthy forest: It is in the ground layer and the small animals that rely on that layer. It is not there; it has been choked out by scrub.

So you have got litter on the ground, and it is continuous with scrub in the middle and it is continuous with the thinning canopy on the top. You get a fire in that, it is uncontrollable because in severe conditions you get fire storms and ember showers that can be tens of kilometres in front of the fire front. That is why fires are uncontrollable. The only thing that is unprecedented about these fires we are having at the moment is the amount of fuel in the bush. It is right through Australia; there is three-dimensionally continuous fuel and declining trees wherever you go because we no longer use mild burning. In fact, in New South Wales it is illegal to manage the bush properly by burning it frequently and mildly. It is against the regulations to do it properly.

One MP has trouble grasping how rare koalas were:

The Hon. SHAYNE MALLARD: Thank you for your submission. I am from the Blue Mountains and there are reports of one or two koala sightings up at Blackheath and Lapstone, but just one or two sightings. If your hypothesis is right, would we not be seeing a bounce back of significant numbers of koalas in a habitat that did have thousands and thousands of koalas up until the turn of the last century?

Mr JURSKIS: No, it did not have thousands and thousands of koalas. That is exactly my point.

Mr JURSKIS: A natural koala population has a density of about one koala per 100 hectares.

The Hon. SHAYNE MALLARD: There are a few thousand hectares, though.

Mr JURSKIS: Yes. The first eruption of koalas was noted by surveyor Govett, who Govetts Leap is named after. He described them as numerous in the dense stringybark forests on the Hawkesbury and on the Coxs River side of the Blue Mountains. Those were new forests; they grew up when we disrupted Aboriginal burning.

The Hon. SHAYNE MALLARD: But we are not seeing evidence of an erupting koala population in the Blue Mountains.

Mr JURSKIS: We are. If you can see koalas, it means they are erupting. Naturally, you do not see them because you have got one koala per tens of thousands of trees. A natural koala population is invisible. When you can see them—like, for example, that koala in the photo there; that is in an area where koalas are supposed to be extinct. They are actually erupting.

There’s a lot more reading at both the last two articles — on Quadrant and the Parliamentary PDF.

Or buy Vic’s Book! The Great Koala Scam, Green propaganda, junk science government waste and cruelty.

Things you need to know about Australian megafires and forest management:

 

h/t to CFACT and Climate Depot. Thanks to Pat, Beowulf, TedM, PeterW, GeeAye. (Does anyone know where Pat is?)

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Koalas extinct? Hardly. "Nearly everything you have read or heard about koalas is wrong", 9.8 out of 10 based on 64 ratings

183 comments to Koalas extinct? Hardly. “Nearly everything you have read or heard about koalas is wrong”

  • #

    What a very common sense comment by mr jurskis directly under ‘heres’s the nub of it’ which seems to date to December 2019

    Does anyone know whether his words carried any weight with govt and the appropriate agencies?if not why not as from here in the UK that comment seems to succinctly sum up the situation after my reading of dozens of reports of forest fires in oz, ancient and modern

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    • #
      davefromweewaa

      They are such bolshie little buggers too! Give us your money or the koala gets it! Hand over your property or the koalas will be extinct in 30 years!
      Storm troopers for the revolution, comrades!

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        OriginalSteve

        Yeah but the comrades in the MSM would have no “revolution” to keep them amused if things were normal.

        The Lefties seem to live for creating strife…its like they were all ignored as kids and now are acting out to get peoples attention…..sad but possibly true….either that or they are just plain evil…

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  • #
    Jojodogfacedboy

    Media is not interested in boring old everything is normal reporting and spice it up with endangered or on the brink of extinction to publish it.
    Seen it too many times.
    Oh, now the Polar Bears are eating the inhabitants due to population growth and regulations.

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    • #
      Geoff Croker

      Journalism is going extinct. Expect more beat ups. Only emotive bull can keep them alive. Advertising revenue has dried up.

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    David Maddison

    *koalas not koala’s. I realise it’s probably the spell checker that did that without your knowledge, Jo.

    David, must be a ten minute delay on the spellchecker. Look it’s fixed! ;-) – Jo PS: 4am here. Gah

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      Greg in NZ

      Breaking News: * Apostrophes are going EXTINCT because of man-made clima— NO! They are IRRUPTING to PLAGUE proportions due to SpellChecker! We must ban SpellChecker NOW before it’s two to toooo late! Won’t somebody think of the j’o'e’y's’!!!?

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  • #
    David Maddison

    People don’t like me saying it but the koala is probably the world’s least intelligent mammal.

    Quote from Wikipedia:

    Because of its small brain, the koala has a limited ability to perform complex, unfamiliar behaviours. For example, when presented with plucked leaves on a flat surface, the animal cannot adapt to the change in its normal feeding routine and will not eat the leaves.

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    • #
      AndyG55

      the world’s least intelligent mammal..

      …. after climate change alarmism believers !!

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      Bill In Oz

      Why is this an issue ?
      Do we have to do an intelligence test on every wild species for some unknown purpose ?
      Wild animals have evolved to survive in their environments.
      End of story.

      PS Wikipedia putting out BS again maybe ?

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      • #

        Bill, in this case the rumors of Koala IQ are true. It’s important because it tells us that selective pressures can also work against a large high-energy demanding brain if it doesn’t confer a fertility advantage.

        human brains use 20% of our energy. It’s a very expensive organ.

        These are animals surviving on new growth in trees that put poisons into their mature leaves. No free calories for these guys to spare for frivolous things like crossword puzzles.

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          glen Michel

          Of course,for the denizens here the ratio is 1:20. Most people here carry a gene that largely protects us from control propaganda and outright BS .

          [Shortened it for you to save on ink !]AD

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        • #
          sophocles

          It seems the koala is a typical herbivore: the population expands to and beyond the limits of the food supply. Population control is left to the carnivorous predators.

          Do you guys have programs to teach dingoes how to climb and hunt trees?
          We have the same problem with the (introduced — big mistake!) bushy tailed possum here in NZ. Hence my question …

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          peter

          human brains use 20% of our energy. It’s a very expensive organ.

          Does that mean footballers would use 18% of their energy for their brain to save more energy for their muscles? To pre-empt comments on climate alarmists – they only use 10% of their energy on their brains. That’s because they only use the ‘emotional’ half of their brain and not the ‘logical’ half of their brain which is shut down?

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    • #
      beowulf

      Brain to bodyweight ratios:
      Koala — 1:400
      Human — 1:40
      Mammalian average — 1:180

      For a large 8kg koala that equates to a 20g brain. I would have thought a brain that small would be lucky to have enough processing power to allow the animal to blink and chew at the same time. Its brain must be mostly ROM to do everything instinctively.

      A nutrient-poor, toxic diet is not enough to fuel a large brain, and I suppose it doesn’t require a lot of computing power to sleep 22 hours per day and chew gum leaves the other 2. Koalas in captivity have been observed attempting to climb up PAINTINGS of trees on walls while there are real trees just a few feet away. They have also been seen attempting to escape INTO bushfires.

      Still, maybe a koala should have been put in charge of Danistan hotel quarantine for better results.

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    Jojodogfacedboy

    There is a simular report on the Canadian Caribou becoming extinct due to tree cutting and global warming…
    But, you use a little logic and Canada has a massively large tree canopy and a multitude of different large wildlife with strict hunting regulations. It would be impossible to count and identify the different species under all this bush in order to determine what species is becoming extinct. Other than some virus specific to the one species, to determine this claim.
    It is again a false report for money and sensationalism.

    Sorry, I hate people taking me for a fool.

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      John F. Hultquist

      Nothing is simple:
      Last of the Selkirk Caribou – - -
      . . . to the Selkirk herd in the wild, which was already what biologists consider “functionally extirpated.” The herd was one of 15 isolated subpopulations of a broader group known as southern mountain caribou, which, as their name indicates, live in different landscape from the robust northern tundra herds. All 15 are shrinking, mostly because of human development that fatally altered their habitat.
      Anchorage Daily News

      We live about 4 hours drive from the original range of the Selkirk Caribou.
      More information: https://scawild.org/south-selkirk-mountain-caribou/

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      • #
        Jojodogfacedboy

        Unless people are shooting them illegally. Doubtful that humans are the problem. They can go around without being harmed by them as they are protected by the game conservation.
        This blanket blame humans has always been a good ploy for raising funds and funding requests.

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  • #
    bruce

    As someone who lives in the bush, walks in forests every other day, and studies the history of the area, I have seen a cycle of similar bushfires every couple of decades going back as far as records go, and Jurskis just sounds like an armchair fantasist with his whacky claim the Australian bush is ‘unhealthy’ because it does not resemble some abstract ideal in his mind which never existed here (is he comparing us to Europe as so many once did?)

    I do take Joanne’s suggestions about boom and bust populations of koalals seriously, it sounds true enough.

    The only unprecedented thing in my area is the explosion of new housing out of urban areas – tree changers fleeing the city pushing further into formerly pristine areas. Because people love trees.

    Also in my area the ‘aboriginal parkland’ theory has been debunked by careful examination of the facts. There was very little burning before ‘the white man’ arrived, again no more than every couple of decades at most (just like now!) and the claims are based on imaginary interpretations of records – in my area.

    But boom and bust koala populations sounds right. It’s just that in one of those bust periods some fear they will disappear entirely, but that may just be over-paranoid as we live with all sorts of risks on this planet.

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      TedM

      Vic Jurskis an armchair fantasist? Vic is a man who has studied and worked in the Australian bush all of his working life. Unlike you he has not just taken a walk in the bush every other day as you state that you do.

      ” because it does not resemble some abstract ideal in his mind which never existed here (is he comparing us to Europe as so many once did?)” Have you been living in and walking in the bush for over 200 years so that you know that you know that the way that Vic describes that bush at the time of settlement never actually was. This in spite of numerous historical references that support Vic’s position perfectly.

      I worked in the SW Australian bush for two decades, with much of my work gathering data relevant to fire ecology. While there are no koalas in WA the principles of fire ecology remain the same, and the fact that the last two hundred years have seen a significant reduction in fire frequency and a resultant increase in fire intensity is a demonstrable fact. There is no doubt in my mind that Vic is right on the money.

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      el gordo

      ‘There was very little burning before ‘the white man’ arrived ….’

      This deserves closer examination and requires a definitive resolution.

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        glen Michel

        There is no proof one way or the other.

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        • #
          glen Michel

          Changing to Platypus for a sec. Many people think they are scarce when in fact their range and numbers indicate that they thrive.They are very well off in my region and easily observed if you are quiet and unobtrusive. Lovely to check out their antics when in courting/mating mode.

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      • #
        Bright Red

        Yep it seems lightening strikes never started fires before white man arrived. Compared to lightening I suspect Aboriginal contribution to total area burned is a lot lower than the luvies would have us believe.

        40

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      AndyG55

      I have friends who live around the Williamstown area.. they report seeing koalas regularly.

      Another friend that goes 4 wheel driving up passed Seaham.. again, plenty of koalas reported.

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        robert rosicka

        No shortage in northeast Victoriastan either Andy and yes Elgordo reports from the first fleet did mention numerous fires burning .

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          David Maddison

          Not the First Fleet necessarily but in 1770 Captain Cook noted:

          - described the land as “a continent of smoke”

          and

          - “we saw smoke by day or fires by night wherever we came”.

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          • #
            robert rosicka

            Sorry yes you’re right David .

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          • #
            beowulf

            The First Fleet as well. Read the journal of Watkin Tench, Capt. of Marines regarding the native fires that swept into the settlement from areas beyond the settled boundary during the El Nino of 1790-91. He was frequently reporting the natives around Sydney setting fire to the bush when hunting.

            And to Bruce: where is your area? Unless you are living in a wet rainforest then I doubt your take on the fire history of your area. Other areas don’t follow the pattern you describe.

            If you study the distribution patterns (at the time of settlement) of flora along the east coast you can see the impact of Aboriginal burning practices on the vegetation. There are abrupt boundaries in some species that are fire-sensitive, vegetation boundaries that match tribal boundaries.

            To the north of the Macleay River at Kempsey NSW for instance, Silky Oaks were common — they grow like weeds anywhere that has reasonable conditions — but on the southern side there were none. It turns out that the river was a tribal boundary and the southern tribe were virtual pyromaniacs. Their burning habits kept the silkies from re-establishing after the last ice age. Since the advent of white man they have spread everywhere.

            In my old stamping ground (Paterson, NSW) after white settlement in about 1815, the euc forests took over and choked the pastoral land on and off for a hundred years. It wasn’t until the Depression when men would work ring-barking trees all day long just for a couple of meals, that the local area was once again cleared to pre-settlement tree densities.

            There are umpteen eye-witness accounts of the explosion of vegetation in early colonial days over much of NSW once regular aboriginal burning stopped. Aboriginals had a deep impact on our vegetation distribution and density. They certainly didn’t leave their land untouched. By the use of fire they heavily modified the landscape to suit themselves when they arrived as is clearly evidenced by the way the vegetation rebounded after their demise.

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          • #
            glen Michel

            Cooked meat by the bucket load eh. Oh for some seasoning!

            20

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘The popular notion that Aborigines carried out widespread burning of the Australian landscape is a myth, research shows. A study of charcoal records has found that the arrival of the first Australians about 50,000 years ago did not result in significantly greater fire activity across the continent.’ SMH

      Cool burns are a myth, but I argue that over 40,000 years of occupation there wasn’t much dead wood to be found over large swathes of ancestral land.

      When the explorers first came over the Blue Mountains they said the place looked like Arcadia.

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      • #
        TedM

        “A study of charcoal records has found that the arrival of the first Australians about 50,000 years ago did not result in significantly greater fire activity across the continent.’ SMH”

        I am aware of numerous studies (most relevant to WA) elgordo. Almost all of which conclude a reduction in fire frequency following European settlement. These studies based on charcoal residues and fire scars in trees concur with the numerous historical references. “Sylvia Hallam” in her book “Fire and Hearth” gives a very good compilation of many of these reports.

        The changes in forest structure due to this change in fire frequency are still evident to those who have the ability to interpret what they see, even today

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      • #
        little

        Charcoal in sediments is a coarse measure of biomass burning in the landscape. The study in fact showed the highest level of charcoal in 70,000 years was about 40,000 years ago when Aborigines proliferated across Australia. They burnt out the soft browse, exterminating the megafauna and creating open grassy landscapes. Mild burning then produced relatively little charcoal until after Europeans arrived. Woody thickening and megafires then produced unprecedented levels of charcoal. After foresters reintroduced landscape burning 50 years ago, there was a sudden downturn in charcoal deposition against the rising trend in temperatures. The increase in charcoal since greens started interfering with sustainable management 30 years ago hasn’t yet been sampled in sediment cores. Peer review these days is mostly done by a mutual admiration society of groupthinkers. Read some fairdinkum science: https://www.connorcourtpublishing.com.au/Firestick-Ecology-Fairdinkum-Science-in-Plain-English_p_41.html

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        • #
          el gordo

          Mr Little I have a problem with this: ‘… the highest level of charcoal in 70,000 years was about 40,000 years ago when Aborigines proliferated across Australia. They burnt out the soft browse, exterminating the megafauna and creating open grassy landscapes.’

          Anyway, its worth further reading.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire-stick_farming

          00

          • #
            little

            Dear Mr. el Gordo,
            Why do you address me as Mr Little? Not sure what the problem is. If you look at Fig. 2 from the charcoal study “Late Quaternary fire regimes of Australasia”. You’ll see peak pre-European charcoal deposition around 40 ka when widespread evidence of people first appeared and megafauna finally disappeared. If that doesn’t help please specify problem.
            Little

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            • #
              el gordo

              It was a warmer D-O Event which gave humans the opportunity to wander into Europe for the first time, while in Australia it was so warm and dry that it became a tinderbox. The megafauna became extinct because of climate change, not necessarily because of human occupation, but obviously from this distance its hard to know for sure.

              22

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            • #
              sophocles

              Around 40,000 YA ago was a climatically rough time: the Laschamp geomagnetic excursion was followed by the Toba Super Volcano eruption (39000YA). GEs are generally very cold. During the Laschamp, it was very cold so the elevated charcoal from that time could be partly efforts by the human populations to keep warm, although camp fires of several square miles to several hundred square miles in size are rather risible.

              Cold times are very dry times. Drought would not be uncommon and the fire risk would be high, to the point where large bushfires could have become a regular decadal feature. Thus the elevated charcoal may have been a marker of extreme climate variation.

              The proliferation of humans may have been scattering to survive. Few humans per square mile won’t starve as quickly as greater numbers.

              A thousand years later was the Toba super volcano so what warming post Laschamp there was could have been quickly cancelled (39000 YA).

              Interesting times back then.

              30

              • #
                Graeme No.3

                I thought that the Toba super volcano was around 72,000 y.a. and led to early humans exiting Africa** (as per the maternal mitochondrial DNA analysis theory).

                **Except those aborigines in Pascoe’s book Dark Emu (beloved of the ABC) who were in Australia practicing systematic agriculture 80,000 y.a, Obviously they must have hired the Queen Mary to cross the Indian Ocean directly.

                20

      • #
        glen Michel

        Alan Cunningham said the same about crossing the Liverpool Ranges in 1827..

        20

      • #
        Slithers

        Do you read and believe everything in the SMH?

        30

        • #
          el gordo

          Nothing much, but it would be churlish to ignore what the SMH has to say.

          02

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            Yeah but much if it appears to be rather left leaning its hard to tell the difference between them and the ABC…

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  • #
    Paul

    Vic, as always you make people think.

    In the Riamukka area near Nowendoc, according to Braithwaite it was the largest koala population he knew and Andrew Krockenburger did his PhD studies on them. The koalas lived mainly in the wooded grazing land not in the forest. The forest in those days was regularly hazard reduced.

    Andrew made two points to me, Koalas prefer to eat young leaves of trees on the higher fertile soils and why climb 30 meters to get a feed when you can climb 10 meters.

    In the 6 years I worked in those forest I only saw a koala in a patch of Snow Gum in the Hell Hole area in the forests but koalas in the grazed wooded area on most days I visited.

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    Peter Fitzroy

    Love the idea that some random can say, oh there are lots of them, and therefore not a problem. My experience on the Mid North Coast is the exact opposite… But comments here will not give equal weight to that.

    A link (with embedded links for further info) from the Federal Environment Department http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/koala

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    • #
      AndyG55

      “But comments here will not give equal weight to that.”

      Nor should they.

      You are certainly no koala expert, or an expert on fire.. or anything for that matter.

      You truly fit the description of “a random” non-entity.

      On the other hand.. Viv Jurskis is a veteran forester and fire expert who studied them for years.

      Seems to didn’t understand on thing Mr Jurskis has said.

      Even that map on your link shows a huge area of Koala habitat.

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    • #
      robert rosicka

      Google ” koala culling” and you get some interesting results .

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    • #
      el gordo

      In an effort to be fair and balanced.

      ‘Population densities range from high (4-8 Koalas per hectare) on the NSW North Coast to low (0.006 Koalas per hectare) near Eden on the South Coast (Melzer et al.’ Dept of Agriculture

      30

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        which is completely at odds with the wildly exaggerated claim in

        “Mr JURSKIS: A natural koala population has a density of about one koala per 100 hectares.”

        This is just an, as correctly asserted by the CSIRO, an opinion piece (there is no science there at all)

        I love the idea that anyone can claim knowledge of population dynamics, and make such an outrageous statement

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        • #
          little

          It is actually reporting Jurskis’ data from Eden alongside data from unsustainably dense irrupting populations on the north coast

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          • #
            AndyG55

            Quite hilarious that Peter didn’t even comprehend that.

            More slap-stick comedy ! :-)

            And yes, Peter, we know you have no science at all. !

            “Population densities range from high (4-8 Koalas per hectare) on the NSW North Coast”

            Big koala population density just north of you apparently.

            Yet your comment at #8 shows you were UNAWARE of that fact.

            Unaware… not unusual for you. !

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          • #

            Little… did you know that there is an actual real study of South Coast koala populations

            Wildlife Research,2014,41,22–34 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR13054

            Lunney et al found the following using historical records dating back more than a hundred years and regular surveys since the 1980s

            WWe found a marked, long-term shrinkage in the distribution of the koala across the Eden region. Our
            modelling demonstrated that a succession of multiple threats to koalas from land use (human population growth and habitat loss) and environmental change (temperature increase and drought) were significant contributors to this decline.

            The first sentence, based on data onle directly contradicts Vic/Viv and I’m sure you will get upset about the other sentences but they don’t change the first.

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            • #
              AndyG55

              “Our modelling demonstrated “

              LOL !!

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              • #

                Gee Aye, Jurskis mentioned Lunney et al specifically. He also said the estimates of koala populations ignored the changes that european settlers made which created these artificial booms in the population.

                I was surprised at how many historic quotes he has of new settlers and explorers who never saw a single koala.

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              • #

                Vic has been attacking everyone who did research that didn’t back his earlier reports. I don’t know if it is hurt pride at the lack of academic acceptance of his sponsored reports or what but I’ve not seen anything new from him in years.

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              • #
                OriginalSteve

                And i woukd suggest you need to study a larger area too. Who is not to say while declining in one area there could be trees groaning under the weight of too many sonewhere nearby?

                You would also need to study land usage change to also map the hard changes ( as opposed to the fluff like “because climate change” to get a proper picture….

                10

            • #
              AndyG55

              ““Population densities range from high (4-8 Koalas per hectare) on the NSW North Coast””

              So I’m guessing the NSW North Coast didn’t have any “land use (human population growth and habitat loss) and environmental change (temperature increase and drought)”

              Would that be right, GA?

              30

            • #
              little

              Gee thanks Gee Aye!
              The “actual real” study apparently lost a few recent records. The “regular surveys” were mail-outs. I can’t understand why people didn’t see koalas in bush they weren’t looking in when, as El Gordo told us, there were as many as 0.006 koalas per hectare. The koala that Jurskis photographed didn’t know it was extinct. They’re pretty stupid alright! But the actual real studies must be right because they used computer models.

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            • #
              TedM

              “Vic has been attacking everyone who did research that didn’t back his earlier reports.” That is a nonsense statement Gee Aye. Vic exposes (attacks as you call it) what he knows to be false, based on his experience and research. And the research of others.

              Most of those who publish material with the antithetical point of view, are university based researchers. One of my tasks when I was working in the bush was to take recently graduated university students in to the bush for two or three days to work with me. Most of them had graduated in Environmental science, or in a few cases environmental biology. It was staggering to find how little understanding they had of the natural processes. Almost none of them had physics even to high school level, and so had trouble grasping fire dynamics, which is so essential if you intend to go into fire ecology.

              Most of them simply reflected the viewpoints of their lecturers, rather than understanding the principles of ecology.

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                Paul

                The other group I get tired of dealing with is Ecologist talking about forests but do not understand the Growth Habit of Eucalypts. Never read the work of Doc Jacobs or Ross Florence. Or spent time in managing forests. How can you call yourself an Ecologist but do not understand the largest and longest lived element of the forest environment?

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            • #
              Kalm Keith

              You need to learn how identify self serving waffle.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Having finally had big fires last December in your neck of the woods
      And the drought having broken as the rain falls,
      Your local Koalas have since started seriously breeding again.
      A natural cycle Fitz!

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      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        I’ve not seen the evidence on the ground, looking for scats in the old habitats

        Deer yes, but Koalas no

        However, you must have evidence, which I’d like you share

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          AndyG55

          “Population densities range from high (4-8 Koalas per hectare) on the NSW North Coast”

          No accounting for that inbuilt unawaremess of yours.

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          • #

            As Jurskis says “if you can see koalas they are irrupting”. Meaning that it is a boom for a normally rare species.

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            • #
              Peter Fitzroy

              10 years ago, I had one walk through the house, about dusk, I remember looking down thinking gee the cat looks strange. needless to say I jumped up and opened a door. Since then, around September-November I would see one or two moving through our block, looking for love. By the way males have a much larger range than females, and will defend that territory when challenged by a rival. As to spotting them, it is a lot easier to look for scats, and then look up. no scats means no koala. Oh, and when established in a territory, they tend to favour a few trees (around 8-10), and can be reliably found at those trees. for females these territories can have some overlap. both of these behaviours have been supported by tracking data.

              As to the point that they are normally rare, I’d love to see some collaborative evidence.

              07

    • #
      MudCrab

      Young Peter,

      Did you not spend several weeks earlier in the year tramping through the ash fields on Koala Rescue duties?

      Now I don’t have computer models for this, but if there were no Koalas then what were you rescuing?

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      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        As mentioned by both Gee Aye and myself, there is considerable doubt as to the reports made by Jurskis and his responses to subsequent work, and both of us provided links to relevant data and research .

        Here is a report from the previous year’s fires (2018) in the adjacent limeburners creek national park https://www.portnews.com.au/story/5371192/port-macquarie-koala-hospital-releases-radio-collared-koalas/

        However my main point is that commentators on this site will except any assertion which supports their view, but will dismiss any science, or any expert who has the temerity to attempt to provide balance

        [Snip]AD

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        • #
          AndyG55

          Yes, we know there are fires, and that Koalas and other wildlife get hurt.

          That is part of it being Australia.

          One year of data is meaningless as a study of population size.

          And look how well the foliage re-bounded after the fires.

          You have presented absolutely nothing to counter Mr Jurskis’s comments.

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        • #
          AndyG55

          “but will dismiss any science, or any expert who has the temerity to attempt to provide balance”

          But nearly all your links end up supporting our point of view anyway.

          And you rarely produce any actual science.

          Viv Jurskis is a veteran forester and fire expert who studied them for years.

          Seems like it is YOU that is dismissing expert evidence. !

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        • #
          Kalm Keith

          Correction:

          “commentators on this site will except any assertion ”

          Kograh grammar correction;

          Spelling should read ; ” accept any insertion “.

          KK

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    • #
      R.B.

      You notice the different colours at the Victorian NSW border. It’s some bureaucrats choice to list them as vulnerable or not.it in no way debunks anything.

      I really wonder if you read the articles or your own links.

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  • #
    Reed Coray

    It amazes me watching how the public seems to want to jump on a bandwagon simply because somebody makes a claim that some species might be endangered. For all the public knows, it was a bot randomly drawing a claim from a list of claims about a species drawn from a list of species. Would someone please tell me what motivates such a response?

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    • #
      Paul

      Yes, the band wagon.

      In their first edition of their book on endangered flora, Briggs and Leigh identified only one species as becoming extinct from logging – the Dorrigo Paper daisy, and the rarest palm – the Mangrove Palm.

      By the second edition of their book, the Paper Daisy was found and it was disturbance depending. Found on logging dumps and roadside recently graded.

      The Mangrove Palm was now the most common palm. It was that people had not looked in the mangrove swamps.

      Over a third of the plants in their book are disturbance dependent.

      PS Briggs and Jurksis were in the same class at ANU for many of the subjects they studied.

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Yes its also possible you can block house rebuilding in burnt out areas ( aka rewilding ) if you can convince enough of the ignorant public
        there is a “crisis”

        A ahortage of rabid greens would be a good crisis to have…

        50

    • #
      John in Oz

      Against the scientists are people

      It is a common tactic for one side to use ‘experts’ as their source then denigrate the opposition by referring them with a non-professional descriptor.

      It sounds to me that Viv Jurskis may be an ‘expert’ no matter his formal training in an educational institution.

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  • #
    RickWill

    In 2013 the koalas at Cape Otway were eating themselves to death; denuding the forest they relied on. The population density was remarkable. Hundreds of koalas were visible from any point on the road through the forest. At the time I visited I could not get a spot on the side of the road to park. Tourists with cameras were parked bumper-to-bumper. This is a management plan for that problem:
    https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/28006/Koalas-at-Cape-Otway-Fact-Sheet_1_overview-2018-Autumn.pdf

    Within in this it stated that koalas have high fertility – (breed like koalas). This is what has been done since the problem was officially recognised.

    Since May 2015 six management programs have been delivered within the framework of the Cape Otway Koala Management Actions. These include:
    • Koala health assessment in May 2015,
    • Koala welfare intervention and trial translocation in September 2015,
    • Large scale translocation in November and December in 2015,
    • Fertility control and health check program in May 2016,
    • Fertility control, health check and translocation program in November/December 2016, and
    • Fertility control, health check and translocation program in May 2017

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  • #
    David Maddison

    Australia is one of the few, if not the only country, in which it is illegal (or highly restricted) to own a vast majority of native fauna species as pets.

    The ability to own animals as pets is one of the surest ways to protect them as it will encourage captive breeding and research.

    To be fair, most Australian animals are mainly prey species and not very smart (like many of the Australian Sheeple, present company excepted) so most wouldn’t make very good interactive pets but many people don’t seem to mind having such animals. Mostly though, Australians prefer relatively smart imported predator animals like cats and dogs as pets.

    Contrary to popular belief, the Australian native dog, the dingo, imported to Australia or arriving on driftwood mats in relatively recent times 4,000-8000 years ago is not a domesticated animal but pure dingoes are totally wild, not domesticated by anyone.

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    • #
      Graeme#4

      Once came across a gent that had two pure-bred dingos as pets. Thought it was illegal to own them.
      On the Nullarbor, used to hear the the dingos howl at night but rarely saw them. Of the few that we saw at night, many were cross-breeds with wild dogs.

      30

      • #

        David, good point, though I’m trying to imagine how someone could feed a pet koala in a backyard. I suspect they’d need a lot of trees or regular deliveries of fresh Koala-food.

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        • #
          Another Ian

          Jo

          We had one in our yard (mostly) for about three months who got by with about three decent sized gum trees.

          And I have the photos that say koalas drink water.

          40

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            No photos but have seen one drinking water at approx. 2 metres. Owner of the house (and water pool) said it was common behaviour.

            00

        • #
          Yonniestone

          Jo Koala’s are quite sceptical, I’ve never seen one drinking the Koal-Aid either……..

          00

  • #
    Dennis

    I doubt that the average coastal Green has ever travelled all over Australia.

    Maybe if they knew that just the land from the WA Kununurra Ord River Irrigation Area across the NT and NQ is equivalent to all of Western Europe? And has been discussed as suitable for irrigation farming recommended by the CSIRO.

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  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Thanks Jo for this post.
    Koalas are an iconic species in Australia and worldwide identified as Australian. Sp pumping out propaganda about Koalas becoming extinct is a clever greenist way of getting attention, being seen as important and of course raising money.

    The truth is that Koalas inhabit a huge area of Australia and while they are becoming rarer in some areas they are in plague numbers in others. Why ? Usually because of lack of preferred food or an abundance of their preferred food. Out of 900 odd species of Eucalypts, Koalas eat the leaves with soft growing tips of 15 only species. and if there is a drought in an area of course these preferred Eucalypt species stop growing those soft tip leaves. And then Koalas starve in that area. ( Chlamydia also becomes a big problem when there is a drought.)
    Then many Koalas will migrate to another area. Nowadays sometimes the area they migrate to is an urban area with lots of growing native bush which the humans water with water from the mains water supply during the drought. Adelaide sees this happen every time there is a drought in the adjoining Adelaide Hills.

    When the drought breaks the Eucalypts grow again and the remaining Koalas regain condition and then breed and the population starts growing again. All very normal & natural.

    But the Save the Koala mobs ill never get and attention, becoem famous or get money if they tell Australians that this is all natural and cyclical. So BS propaganda is the order of the day.

    I just ignore the stuff.

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  • #
    Analitik

    The blue gums on Kangaroo Island where the koalas thrive are actually largely abandoned plantations – they were supposed to be the basis for a local timber industry but someone overlooked the lack of a suitable port for loading the cut timber. A greeny investment firm (KIPT) has taken over the plantations on land owned by the previous (bankrupt) owners, Great Southern, but really can’t do anything with them (although they carry on about the “potential” of the plantations).

    Locals hate them as they are also a haven for feral pigs and pull out ground water but those on the company plantations can’t be cut down and they spread on to farm land and public areas.

    the plantation tree industry had changed the landscape on KI, reducing the number of farming families and impacting on water flows and encouraging feral animals, such as pigs and koalas.

    KI farmer knocks down blue gum plantation

    All from malinvestments due to the bubble leading up to the ‘GFC’

    AN ECONOMIC wasteland has developed at the western end of Kangaroo Island where a large area of blue gum forests is being blamed for ruining the social fabric of the rural community.
    Farmers are worried the trees will never be harvested and have called for the forests to be redeveloped into viable farming land.

    2013 – South Australia’s forgotten forests leave trouble on Kangaroo Island

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    • #
      RickWill

      One of the money making ventures I avoided! The forests were peddled/ marketed in glossy brochures as tax avoidance schemes. They mostly parted people from their money.

      Actually the forests may have realisable value for their carbon credits if not already claimed.

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  • #

    I have to choose my words carefully regarding Vic in case I draw legal fire.

    He has been saying this stuff for years and makes claims based on his own lines of reasoning about habitat and behaviour and well chosen examples without backing it up with any data.

    The simple fact – whether you believe 2050 or not – is that large wide ranging fauna that inhabit forested areas like Koalas and monitors, are threatened by habitat fragmentation and loss. It is well documented from multiple studies, observations and lines of evidence and no amount of arm wavery denial can make it go away.

    39

    • #

      btw when did he become Viv?

      04

      • #

        Gee Aye, just because he has been saying something for a long time doesn’t make it wrong. And saying there are lots of studies without listing any is kinda arm wavery. Studies showing populations have declined could easily all be from an artificial boom to an artificial bust. Do any of them estimate pre-European densities and also take into account the large land management differences between Aboriginal land and current “Megafire” forests?

        I’m sure that fragmentation and habitat loss are significant, but the boom on Kangaroo Island shows that they can multiply rapidly, and Vic cites many historic observations from the first settlers that supports his argument that Koalas were rare.

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        • #

          could would and should is definitely arm wavy.

          He cites this and that without outlining the system he used. His approach is opaque with no evidence that it is objective.

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          • #
            AndyG55

            “could would and should is definitely arm wavy.

            He cites this and that without outlining the system he used. His approach is opaque with no evidence that it is objective.”

            Sounds like you are describing “climate science™” in general.

            Yet I can’t recall you ever saying anything about that particular farce.

            You don’t perchance live in a world of your own total hypocrisy, do you !

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          • #
            Kalm Keith

            Gee, do Koalas eat ticks perhaps?

            I know of a badly infested area that could use some help from a “tick predator”.

            I have a strong suspicion that most “greens” have never been near the Bush and wouldn’t go near it unless forced to and so their chronic bleating is just I’ll informed arm waving and instinctive rebellion.

            30

        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          I’m sure that fragmentation and habitat loss are significant, but the boom on Kangaroo Island shows that they can multiply rapidly

          https://kipt.com.au/2019/02/25/blue-gum-the-rolls-royce-of-woodchips/

          blue-gum-the-rolls-royce-of-woodchips/

          10

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            We used to get amazing honey from Tazy (Tasmania) however, as a bee keeper myself, i can only experience shock and horror at what those who want a mono-culture forestry can provide in return, for both us, and the diversity of life itself.

            00

      • #
        sophocles

        GA asked

        btw when did he become viv?

        If you look at your QWERTY keyboard, GA, you’ll notice the lowest row of alphabet-soup keys has zxcvb… so I would guess Vic became Viv through a standard typo, (or a misplaced left hand centre finger on a small keyboard) … happens all the time and sometimes sneaks past proof reading.

        30

    • #
      robert rosicka

      I will fess up GeeAye , I haven’t had koalas in any of the gumtrees on my place for 15 years !
      I did however convert said trees to firewood about the same time though , now if I want to see one I have to look over the back fence .

      40

    • #
      TedM

      Gee Aye I don’t think that anybody is denying the negative effect of habitat loss and fragmentation on the abundance of any species. However that is not what Vic Jurskis is addressing. He is referring to the huge fluctuation in koala numbers as a result of infrequent intense fires. For those who may not grasp the mechanics of this process here’s an attempt to explain it.

      As previously stated koalas feed on the young leaves of a limited number of eucalypt species. An intense fire results in defoliation or crown scorch of these trees. In order to survive until the crown recovers, the tree produces epicormic shoots on the trunk. This provides nutrient for the tree until the crown can recover a process that usually takes a number of years. During this time there is a continuos production of young leaves that are suitable food for the koalas. During this time the depleted population increases or maybe explodes (metaphorically speaking). Once the process of recovery is completed the abundance of young nutritious leaves falls dramatically. This is followed by a decline in koala population until the next intense fire which initially depletes the population even further, followed by tree recovery, and so the process repeats.

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  • #
    Evidence Please

    The scientific method takes another beating here.
    Find one person that supports your anti green view, ignore the counter evidence or don’t bother looking, give each other a bunch of green thumbs, job done and move on to the next lefty subject.
    And this is supposed to be a science blog ?.

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    • #

      So you have no counter evidence eh?

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      • #
        Evidence Please

        So Vic has no data but you ask me for some ?.
        You post his opinions yet don’t check them, that’s hardly professional.
        OK…….. try the CSIRO for starters.

        02

        • #

          As I said, you have nothing. Not one counter example that Koala’s were plentiful before European settlement. Not one reason that might explain why Koala’s won’t repopulate quickly. Not any observations.

          30

        • #
          AndyG55

          Poor Evidence-Free.

          Empty, mindless posts is your meme.

          You have no science.

          CSIRO says populations of koalas vary greatly from area to area.

          …. and that their numbers for non-population “irrupting” areas are about what Vic says they are, are are in plague proportions, damaging the habitat were they are “irrupting”.

          Thanks for collaborating Vic’s comments. :-)

          20

    • #
      AndyG55

      “The scientific method takes another beating here”

      Still Mr EVIDENCE-FREE is back with zero science to support his little rants.

      Poor fella has no idea what the “scientific method” is.

      Just words he heard someone else say.

      Doesn’t realise that the “anti-green” is what he and his fellow far-left anti-CO2 idea logs are all about…

      Its an innate hatred of all life-forms that rely on carbon and its naturally occurring compounds for their very existence.

      CO2 = green plant life

      Anti-CO2 = Anti-life !

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    little

    Gee Gee Aye,
    your data are so convincing!

    30

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    PeterS

    Yet another diversion by the gullible alarmists who can’t even differentiate between truth from fiction to make us all feel guilty for daring to use fossil fuels to maintain our standard of living at the alleged expense of say koalas. I would retort back and say stuff the koalas. I’m more interested in doing whatever it takes to maintain our standard of living as humans trump koalas, and that ought to mean we build more coal fired power stations. Of course doing so will have as much impact on koalas as it would on the global temperature, namely nil. So I would ask the alarmists what’s the fuss all about and please explain or else S..U!

    40

  • #
    RoHa

    Not just a koala plague, but a comma plague too.

    “Nearly everything you have read or heard about koalas, is wrong” is wrong. There should not be a comma after the subject clause.

    We used to learn about the correct use of commas in primary school. Apparently transmission of this knowledge is another victim of Global Warming/Climate Change.

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    • #

      Fair point RoHa, this was an exact quote from a Parliamentary transcript. I’ve removed the comma from the headline…

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      • #
        sophocles

        Civil Servants and reporters often speak/write several different dialects of English, all of which have one thing in common: feral punctuation.

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  • #
    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    It is more likely that common sense and true scientific endeavour will become extinct. Most people experience koalas as the meme but never experience them other than cute and cuddly.The deep growling and squeeling at night of koalas during mating combat will disabuse most people of their koala misconceptions.

    30

  • #
    TdeF

    “Koalas are still there in unnaturally high densities. There is an average of one koala per three hectares

    In our crowded cities, we think of land as precious. Hunter gatherers and koalas maintained amazing distances. It was also necessary. Before the discovery of agriculture a mere 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of what is now the strangely named Middle East (or the Levant in French), it was exactly the same. And for aborigin*s.

    This idea that there were roaming giant herds of people or koalas is a modern fantasy.

    And the idea that there is climate extinction of humans, koalas, polar bears is just another push for funding from our one overpopulated species, the government funded, university trained ecologist.

    The problem is you have to find a disaster so you can be paid to study it. Like the proposed very silly train where the Labor party wanted $400million to look for ecological problems along the route. Consider that with a distance of say 1,000km, that is $400,000 per km to find frogs.

    Increasingly ecology is all about the cash. Green jobs stopping everything, even the burning of the bush which is essential for the green shoots which are in turn essential for the koalas.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Or one ecologist on $100Kpa to study one kilometer of track for 4 years. Or four ecologists on $100Kpa to study 250 metres of track for a year.

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      • #
        TdeF

        And we already have Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull’s outrageous gift of $444Million of government money to friends to ‘save’ the Great Barrier reef. Even though no one had asked for the money or even knew what to do with it. The last I heard they had allocated $134million for administration. So $444 million. That’s 4,444 people on $100,000 a year etc. And the odd Vice Chancellor on $1.5Million a year. It’s almost certain they will tell us the Great Barrier Reef is dying and they need more money to study the problem.

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    • #

      Slow down there…

      more than 8 separate “discoveries of agriculture”. The levant was probably as old as some of the south American ones but the PNG site looks to be the oldest.

      22

      • #
        TdeF

        There were three distinct waves of Asian migration to the Americas. It is possible that agriculture came with the last wave, establishing the idea around 6000BC, 4,000 years after the Fertile Crescent. And they had the real advantage of the potato and maize, easy to grow vegetables which changed the world. For the Irish, perhaps the most deadly vegetable ever discovered. It’s fascinating to think of the Italians without tomatoes, potatoes, capsicum, chilli, corn/polenta (as in Maize). Even in Lord of the Rings, the Hobbits love potatoes.

        21

        • #
          TdeF

          It is also interesting that agriculture coincided with the end of the last ice age, also around 10,000BC. And the mass migrations into a melting Europe still possible with the land bridges which existed, say across the Aleutians. So it is possible the idea came from India and spread like a virus. A bit like abor*ginal fish traps. People learn quickly once they see something work. Needles and twine for example. There was an explosion of ideas and of people which itself drove the migrations, migrations which made sense to hunter gatherers but not to farmers. A lot happened in a relatively short time and always it is the warmth which does it, rising sea levels creating isolated communities.

          It is amazing to think that so many people have been scared by a predicted 1C or 2C change in 100 years from CO2. Warmth and CO2 is always accompanied by great crops, improvement in our way of life and general advancement. As in the Roman warming period and the Renaissance period. Where the little ice age which only ended in the 1870s produced the starvation which was the root cause of the devastation and wars in Europe, the French revolution, the wars of Napoleon, the endless wars in middle Europe and the Franco Prussian war.

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  • #

    Why did I get a h/t?

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    Deplorable Lord Kek

    Maybe if they stopped locking up bush as ‘national parks’ there would be less fuel to burn and fewer inescapable infernos for the koalas.

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    TdeF

    Generally koalas, kangaroos and wallabies and wombats have been neglected and oppressed since Captain Cook landed. Our furry friends, the original Australians, should have a voice, be written into the constitution as the original species, long before aborig*nes who wiped out their much larger cousins completely. We would call the movement, Furry Lives Matter. And demand the end of specism because it’s all gone too fur.

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      AndyG55

      The politicians better hop to it then….

      or waddle, as the case may be. !

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      TdeF

      And they could join forces with the wild brumbies, currently being shot in their thousands from helicopters by caring gun hating Greens, simple for ranging in the locked up forest and keeping the scrub down and allegedly causing havoc for some species of mountain frogs. So it’s all down to the frog fanciers, although I have nothing against the French personally.

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    thingadonta

    They’d never last long in Africa….leopard tree lunch. As for kangaroos and the long necks, lion and cheetah breakfast.

    No big cats ever reached Australia resulting in totally different mammal assemblage. (The marsupial lions that evolved in their place were not match for the big cats). And elephants only just didn’t make it -just too far for them to swim, but they got to Flores by swimming. Tigers got to Bali. In a few million years Australia would get close enough to indo-PNG for all these animals to cross, and the entire fauna assemblage would have changed anyway. Tigers and koalas would not have lasted together very long….

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    MudCrab

    The workmate I used to sit facing was an ex-Koala.

    Worked with a few others over the years. There are plenty of them around.

    (ex Army. Koala = Protected Species. Never heard it in context of RAAFies or Navy.)

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    Analitik

    Here’s an interesting comment made by Jurkis in his introduction (from https://www.connorcourtpublishing.com.au/THE-GREAT-KOALA-SCAM-green-propaganda-junk-science-government-waste-cruelty-to-animals–Vic-Jurskis_p_335.html) in reference to wildlife alarmists.

    The groupthink exponents push their emotional arguments in the popular media and often put their names jointly, as an implied majority of scientists, on letters to politicians. They avoid scientific debate by ignoring any articles that sneak through challenging the conventional wisdom. Such rare articles are swamped by the sheer volume of contributions from groupthinkers.

    Plus as the opening sentence

    Good news doesn’t boost TV ratings, sell newspapers or aid fundraising campaigns, but there is a huge industry based on seemingly concocted environmental crises

    It’s all part of the same de-industrialising, mass control agenda that is behind “climate science”

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    gary

    I remember in the 1970′s seeing an ad on TV that koalas would be extinct long before 1999. The hysteria about koala extinction has been going on for a long time and will likely never stop. I’ve looked for the ad on You tube but I have never found it.

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    David Maddison

    If you go to YouTube and do a search for “koala extinction” you will find quite a few videos on the topic. Obviously untrue but the point is that they are there.

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    DOC

    Is this item talking koalas, or COVID-19.
    In either case, start with one (virus) or two (koalas) and look what you get.

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    Mal

    Everything in the universe works in cycles.
    This includes animal populations
    Our so called scientists these days appear to be clueless
    They keep confusing correlation with causation
    Half the time they appear to establish a conclusion first then find reason to justify their finding
    This report at least debunks a lot of the garbage purporting as scientific studies

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    Anton

    Of course you cull them. Any Green who objects is welcome to take a thousand as pets.

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      Environment Skeptic

      Forget culling Anton…One could just let it rip into diverse native forest supporting many species other than koalas and adopt a conversion to a single species plantation forestry of blue gum plantations shown to favor Koalas….simple…whenever there are too many Koalas, remove the entire plantation and process it into wood chips or something else. Just cull the blue gum monoculture forest and presto..no more koalas. At least where the previous blue gum plantation of Koala food blue gum harvest resided. Does this Koala question have something to do with mono-culture Blue Gum plantations? My previous comment is about various scenarios the Koala faces day to day, in particular, the conversion of native forest to mono-culture Blue Gum plantation forest which are of course a mono-culture..
      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-51346637

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    TdeF

    And over population does not mean crowds, a lot in one place. It is when a population exceeds the food or water supply. So seeing a single koala does not mean a population explosion. It just means you saw one.

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    John F. Hultquist

    NO!
    The Koala is listed as vulnerable in the Australian Endangered Species List. It is estimated that there are approximately 100,000 koalas living in the wild and as such you are not allowed to eat them. It is illegal to keep a Koala as a pet anywhere in the world.

    [ Link

    Others claim they don’t taste good.
    If you can’t “eat them” – how would you know?
    And if you do know, does that mean you have committed a crime?

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    WXcycles

    But .. but … what about all those thousands of prime-time World Wildlife Fund TV commercials, which say that if I don’t pay as little as $15 per month, the Koalas are all stuffed?

    So that’s just another brazen greenie ‘Nigerian’ level scam, to steal people’s money using false pretenses … yet again?

    /Chrissie Hynde “I’ll stand by you

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    george1st:)

    People starving of energy and food and housing , here and all over the world .
    But a few natural species going through environmental change is a lot more beneficial to certain enterprises than the other .

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    here but not there

    Talk to me about koalas when overpopulation of humans has been addressed.

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    here but not there

    Koalas are in hundreds humans in billions, shouldn’t we be addressing overpopulation first?

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      bobl

      More antiscience, you compare a local population of Koala against a global population of humans, then fail to do the math. If we took all the humans IN THE WORLD and put them in Australia each would gets about 0.1 Ha or about 1/4 acre. That’s about 10 people per Ha every one in the world concentrated here. If you prefer, move everyone in the world into a place as small as New Zealand and everyone get a 100 square meter apartment. The population of kangaroos in Australia is close to twice the human population.

      Population density of humans worldwide is around 1 person in 2 hectares or one family for each 8 ha. That’s less than the population density of koalas in some places so using your local vs global nonsense humans on planet earth are rarer than Koalas in northern nsw.

      The world is not overpopulated by humans.

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        here but not there

        That argument falls flat, doesnt even make sense. You’re not taking into account habitat, we have the worst record for extinction of animals in a short 200 year period. Every animal needs a habitat to survive, we cant send the koalas out to the desert so human animals can destroy their habitat for pastoral land. The world is most definitely over populated.

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          Kalm Keith

          I agree, how about you set an example and show us how to fix the problem?

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          AndyG55

          we have the worst record for extinction of animals in a short 200 year period

          More anti-science.!

          There are huge areas within Australia where koalas can live.

          “The world is most definitely over populated.”

          Some small parts, maybe.. by the world? No.

          You want population reduction…. YOU lead the way !!

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            Graeme No.3

            Andy:
            I think he has a point; we should reduce the number of stupid people (those that have to be protected as only able to survive in an artificial environment at great expense) from overpopulated areas.
            The problem….how do we persuade politicians in Europe to vote for their own extinction? Mind you, from some of their decisions it should be possible.
            Personally I would also volunteer those “in charge” of our electricity supply as missed out by the Golgafrincham Ark Fleet Ship D starship (that’s the one that was never built).

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          Graeme No.3

          What’s the problem?
          Koalas are intellectually handicapped, can only live in a restricted environment and are too dumb to adapt to change.
          The solution is obvious….send them to the ABC to be climate reporters.

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            Graeme No.3

            Please forgive the sarcasm, I have just run out of bottled heating gas and have switched to emergency supply
            ( Hahndorf Hill Shiraz 2013 ).
            For those readers who haven’t heard of them (a large majority I’m sure) they are a small winery near Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills but nowhere near Hahndorf Hill (now – since 1915) called Germantown Hill. I am happy to report that it was far superior to anything put out by the IPCC.

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          bobl

          Look who’s talking, not taking habitat into account? look at your original post.

          Do the math, 7.6 Billion people 769 million hectares = around 10 people per hectare if everyone moved to Aus. A Hectare is 2.5 AC, So that’s 4 person per acre or 1/4 acre for every person on the planet, not hard is it? The world is not overpopulated as our misanthropic friend asserts.

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    AndyG55

    I own a block of land up in the mid Hunter valley, adjacent to some state forest

    It has only a few trees on it.

    Yet there was this little fella the other day.

    https://i.postimg.cc/Yq9x7QS2/VP1.jpg

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    Philip

    I live near Pine Creek State Forest in NSW with the most robust koala population in NSW. Pine Creek has a long history of logging which continues while a lot has been claimed for National Parks. Logging and koalas easily co exist. These koalas will NOT be extinct in 30 years i can guarantee you. These headlines are sensational nonsense that are par for the course.

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    AndyG55

    Which statement is incorrect, Peter.?

    Try not to be a self-victimiser all your life. !

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    little

    Peter Fitzroy,
    Don’t forget that most of what you’ve written not along ago is still there on the blog.

    Mr. el Gordo wrote: Population densities range from high (4-8 Koalas per hectare) on the NSW North Coast to low (0.006 Koalas per hectare) near Eden on the South Coast (Melzer et al.’ Dept of Agriculture.

    Peter Fitzroy wrote: which is completely at odds with the wildly exaggerated claim in
    “Mr JURSKIS: A natural koala population has a density of about one koala per 100 hectares.”
    This is just an, as correctly asserted by the CSIRO, an opinion piece (there is no science there at all)
    I love the idea that anyone can claim knowledge of population dynamics, and make such an outrageous statement.

    The evidence indicates that the bias and outrage are yours, but you got a free pass anyway.

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    TdeF

    Unlike Peter I am not doubting the figures at all, but there is a question.

    These ‘population densities’ are mathematical constructs, dividing the total number of koalas into the area of a vast forest.

    A Hectare is 100 metres x 100 metres. So 100 of them would be a square 1km x 1km, 1km2. That means each koala is on average 1km from the next in every direction.

    I cannot see how there would ever be another generation of koalas if each and every one of the slow moving arboreal koalas lived 1km from the next. Surely they live in family groups and get together at the local pub occasionally? Or a treemendous night out?

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    TdeF

    For example Australia is 7.7 million km2 inhabited by 26 million people. So mathematically we each inhabit 0.3sq km. Or 30 hectares. That’s an square 550×550 metres.

    I have to say there are few families where the members live half a kilometer apart from each other and all other humans.
    If nothing else, the houses would have to be much bigger and koalas can separate vertically as well in lockdown.

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    little

    TdeF koalas most certainly do not live in family groups. They are solitary and mobile animals. Males bellow in the breeding season to attract females from kilometers away. Jurskis mentioned one travelling 3km for a “night out”.

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    TdeF

    Sure, I am no expert on koalas but I have seen groups and mothers with young koalas in relatively populated areas. And I wonder how anyone comes up with numbers if the koalas are as solitary as claimed and so hard to spot in the vast forests. As for males bellowing in the breeding season to attract females, I do live near a pub.

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    Analitik

    how anyone comes up with numbers if the koalas are as solitary as claimed and so hard to spot in the vast forests

    By working out how much area is needed to feed a koala with the normal distribution of eucalyptus species in a native forest (ie not plantation), you get the sustainable population density.

    10