That is just a fraction of the eight million koalas in Australia when European settlement began in 1788.
Flinders University’s Professor of ecology Corey Bradshaw said the situation for the species is dire.
‘When they go extinct is up for debate, but whether they will go extinct is not really up for debate anymore,’ he said.
‘Habitats have been cleared… fragmented by roads and development. [There’s] genetic problems and diseases… dogs and cars. Add bushfires, and there’s not a lot of long term hope for that species in particular.’
Currently the animals are listed as ‘vulnerable’ under the Australian Government’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in Queensland and NSW.
Fun facts about koalas
Koalas are not bears – they are marsupials
Koalas are typically found in southeastern and eastern Australia
They can contact the STD chlamydia, which often results in blindness, severe bladder inflammation, infertility and death
Have five digits on each front paw, two of which are opposed to the others, much like human thumbs
‘Koala’ is thought to mean ‘no drink’ in the Australian Aboriginal language