Canberra, September 22 : Australia's iconic koala may be heading towards extinction, unless there are changes in how populations are managed.
"Previously hunted to near extinction in the 1920s, the species continues to face ongoing threats to its survival today," Zoologist and author Stephen Jackson told The Age.
"The loss of habitat and urban development, the increase of disease, the potential harm of climate change and attacks from other animals all impact the survival of the koala," he added.
According to Jackson, Port Stephens, north of Newcastle, was home to one of NSW's (New South Wales) most important koala populations, but it was also facing a decline in the populations of the animal.
Debate rages over how to manage the endangered animals.
"There is differing opinion on the actual population numbers and whether the species should be considered vulnerable, and whether they face extinction at the national level," Dr Jackson said.