They are one of two animals Australia is known for, but unlike kangaroos, koalas are falling fast.
Cars kill them as do dogs and disease.
But the central cause, one that lies behind all those threats is human destruction of the places koalas live, forcing them closer to people and each other.
It all comes back to habitat loss.
If a koala has lost habitat, they have to come down, search for habitat which then makes them have to cross roads, so this acceptable being hit by cars and attacked by dogs as well.
North of Sydney, this small rehabilitation centre is about to be transformed into a full koala hospital, costing two million dollars.
The state government of New South Wales will pay for it, but that’s the same government, say campaigners, which is allowing even encouraging the destruction of koala habitat.
We are incredibly appreciative that we’re getting this hospital.
We need this hospital but the laws that allow the habitat clearing and it’s given one hand and take on the other.
Last year, New South Wales relaxed laws controlling the amount of land, farmers can clear of trees.
As a result tells the new report, land clearing rates have tripled.
Those behind the report say that if current trends continue, koalas could be extinct in the wild in New South Wales by 2050.
It’s really shocking and it’s certainly within our power to stop, but if we don’t stop habitat destruction, we will be the ones that will see these animals in the wild for the last time.
New South Wales Environment Minister turned down a request for an interview, for the state government says old land clearing laws were too restrictive.
Farming and development does not need to threaten koalas.
But this patch of wetland forests, north of Sydney illustrates a subjective nature of the decisions.
It’s owned by the Education Department of the state government which doesn’t need it for a school, so two years ago sold it to a developer.
After environmentalists started petitions and campaigns, the state government said it had made a mistake and is now trying to buy the land back for more than it was sold.
One part of government doesn’t communicate with the other.
Before any government department flogs off, they’re supposed to go into other government departments and ask ’do you want it’.
Nobody asked the Department of Environment as far as we know ’do you want this land?’.
The more land that disappears, the more Animal Hospitals will be needed.