Friends of the Koala in conservation groups national network

A NEW non-profit group designed to protect the koala population was launched today and Northern Rivers' own Friends of the Koala have joined the cause.

The National Koala Alliance is a network of groups focused on koala conservation, welfare, advocacy and research.

Friends of the Koala president Lorraine Vass said koalas are irreplaceable and must be protected.

"If we don't protect these very special creatures we are in danger of losing them not just in NSW but other states as well," Ms Vass said.

"Biodiversity legislation is being watered down and koala habitat is being destroyed by coastal peri-urban development and other harmful activities. The koala has an intrinsic value to our ecosystems, our economy and to us as a nation that is irreplaceable, yet koalas everywhere are being pushed to the brink."

National Koala Alliance co-ordinator Greg Johnstone said their goal was to ensure the koala's survival with a united voice for koala conservation and protection.

"If koalas are dying, it indicates that other species are in trouble too," he said. "Approximately 50% of threatened species in Australia occur within koala habitat areas."

The National Koala alliance grew out of the National Koala Conference held in Port Macquarie in May 2013 when experts came together and identified a need to join forces to save the koala.

Koala numbers in NSW and Queensland have fallen by 40% over the past 20 years.

The primary reason identified for their falling numbers is a loss of habitat.

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