Timber plantation companies in Australia will face strict new rules to protect koalas from being killed or hurt during harvest.
Mandatory rules in Victoria come into effect in April and include minimum standards such as population surveys, spotters and the retention of some trees.
The state government says firms will be required to have a ‘koala management plan’ in place. That will include using koala spotters to keep a lookout for the animals while trees are being felled.
Meanwhile, some conservationists have asked the government to take greater action to address an overpopulation of koalas in the region.
Unlike some Australian states, Victoria has an abundance of koalas, and in some parts there are so many that they’re running out of trees. An estimated 200,000 to 400,000 koalas live in the state.