Woohoo! Wonderful news for koalas around Australia this week, with Federal Minister for the Environment Tony Burke announcing our furry little mates have been classified as 'vulnerable' and added to the threatened species list in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT.
The classification means greater protection for our national icon, with tougher measures in place for developers wishing to clear or build upon koala habitat, and $300,000 pledged for further research into the species' dwindling population.
Koala numbers over the past twenty years have dropped by 40 per cent in Queensland, a third in New South Wales, and sadly there are no remaining wild koalas in the ACT. Populations remain steady in Victoria and South Australia.
Figures from the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital show the number of sick and injured koalas from south east Queensland is on the rise, with 836 admitted for treatment in 2011.