While the country laments the horrific loss of wildlife due to bushfires, talks are being held on Kangaroo Island to ensure its decimated koala population does not regenerate.
Koalas are a pest on Kangaroo Island — they were introduced in the 1920s in response to population decline across the country's south-east caused by the fur trade.
Starting with 18 disease-free koalas from French Island in Victoria, the population spiralled out of control to an estimated 50,000 by last year, creating unsustainable pressure on the local environment...
...While koalas are a threatened species in many parts of Australia, this is not the case in the Mount Lofty Ranges, the foothills of Adelaide and the southern suburbs, where a "decent, healthy population" of about 150,000 koalas is thriving. But those on Kangaroo Island, which were originally introduced to Flinders Chase National Park, have a very limited habitat.
The Government said this resulted in large areas of eucalyptus trees dying due to over-browsing (consuming all the leaves of a tree so it dies).
They also have a preference for the manna gum, which is already rare on Kangaroo Island and provides critical habitats for another native animals.
Many residents subsequently consider koalas to be a pest.
My understanding was that koalas had killed most of the manna-gums on the island and were eating vegetation that they normally didn't eat on the mainland like pine cones and wattyls. Evolution in action!