Koalas could be extinct in Australian state by 2050

Koalas face extinction in Australia's New South Wales by 2050, according to a parliamentary report on Tuesday (June 30).

A year-long inquiry found that without significant intervention, the animals will disappear from the wild in Australia's most populous state.

And that was the rate of extinction before the most recent bushfire season.

Land clearing for farms, a prolonged drought, forestry and other factors were already a threat to their habitat, but the bushfires were particularly lethal to New South Wales' koalas and only sped things up.

The state's opposition environment minister Penny Sharpe spoke on Tuesday.

"The government told us there's around 36,000 koalas in New South Wales, that was in 2012. The environment groups told us that it could be as low as 15,000, across the state, and the best guesses after the bushfires were that we've lost as least another 4,000 koalas. So this is desperate times."

The report made 42 recommendations for how to help.

They include more protection for koalas in urban development and more funds for conservation.

But the inquiry stopped short of unanimously recommending a moratorium on logging in public native forests.