The koala is evaluated as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List due to its projected rate of decline as a result of climate change, habitat destruction, and disease.
The koala is evaluated as “Vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The IUCN considers that the conservation status of the koala is border-line between Near Threatened and Vulnerable, but adopts a precautionary assessment given the proximity of the estimated current and projected rate of decline to the threshold, and published assessments of the likelihood of additional and compound impacts due to climate change.
The koala holds no special status, although the Environment Australia Biodiversity Group calls the koala lower risk-near threatened.
Current threats to the koala include continued habitat destruction, fragmentation, and modification (which makes them vulnerable to predation by dogs, vehicle strikes, and other factors), bushfires, and disease, as well as drought-associated mortality in habitat fragments. Koalas are also threatened by the microorganism Chlamydia psittaci, which can make them sterile. Currently, the koala’s main threat is habitat destruction.
• Image | ©️ Nathan Rupert, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
• Sources | (Dubuc & Eckroad, 1999; MacDonald, 1995; Woinarski & Burbidge, 2020; Woinarski, Burbidge, & Harrison, 2014)