Target: Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt
Goal: Abandon highway upgrade that would negatively impact koala colony.
Australian environmental authorities are considering a plan to build a new four-lane highway that would threaten a dwindling colony of koalas. The new Pacific Highway upgrade (referred to as Stage 10) would run through the town of Ballina, New South Wales, Australia — home to around 200 endangered koalas and around 30 other endangered species of wildlife.
There are several ways in which this new highway would negatively impact koalas. First, it would certainly increase the number of koalas killed by motor vehicles, a circumstance already accounting for roughly 17 percent of koala mortalities. According to Echo Netdaily, in 2014, 10 Koalas were killed on the Pacific Highway, underscoring just how lethal these highway upgrades are to koalas.
The clearance of trees and vegetation to make room for the highway displaces koalas, forcing them to “spend more time on the ground and therefore increasing their vulnerability to predation.” Furthermore, the stress caused to koalas by construction of highways oftentimes leads to diseases like clinical chlamydia and retroviruses.
The Pacific highway already serves as a massive impediment to natural koala movement. The Stage 10 upgrade would exacerbate this problem, further disrupting the local ecosystem. The International Fund for Animal Welfare is convinced that Stage 10 will spell the end of Ballina’s koalas, wiping them out for good — and all for the sake of human convenience.
Please sign the below petition urging environmental authorities in Australia to block the Stage 10 upgrade to the Pacific Highway from going forward.
I am writing to urge you to scrap the plans for the Stage 10 upgrade to the Pacific Highway. As you know, the highway would violate a critical habitat for around 200 endangered koalas, threatening them with extinction. Not to mention the other 30 or so species also dependent on the region for survival.
Koalas already face severe threats from the Pacific Highway, with many being killed by motor vehicles as they try to cross the road. Stage 10 would carve up their habitat even more, serving as yet another hindrance to koala movement and surely resulting in more roadkill casualties.
The clearance of trees to make room for the upgrade would also force koalas to spend more time on the ground, where they are unable to defend themselves against predatory animals.
Koalas, like all other endangered species, need our protection. As Minister of Environment, you have a special obligation to ensure the welfare of Australia’s wildlife. Please do not forsake Ballina’s koalas for the sake of human convenience. Stage 10 must be rejected.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Holger Detje