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Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs. Mathias Appel / Flickr

Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs, warns a year-long inquiry into Australia's "most loved animal." The report published by the Parliament of New South Wales (NSW) paints a "stark and depressing snapshot" of koalas in Australia's southeastern state.

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A koala affected by the recent bushfires is released back into native bushland following treatment at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park on Feb. 21, 2020 in Parndana, Australia. Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

By Fino Menezes

After unprecedented bushfires devastated communities and iconic flora and fauna across Australia, non-profit group Science for Wildlife releases 12 koalas back into their natural habitat in the Blue Mountains.

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Koalas are clinging to life in bushfire-ravaged Australia, as seen here on Jan. 9, 2020. Ninian Reed / CC BY 2.0

Australian conservation groups are asking the government to declare koalas endangered after the devastating wildfires this summer killed thousands of them and destroyed 45 million acres of bush that they call home, according to a new report from the conservation group International Fund for Animal Welfare.

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Australian native Koala close up on Raymond Island in the Gippsland Lakes, Victoria. tracielouise / E+ / Getty Images

Australia's iconic koalas cannot catch a break.

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A kangaroo tries to move away from nearby bushfires at a residential property near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales. SAEED KHAN / AFP via Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Ecologists at the University of Sydney are estimating that nearly half a billion animals have been killed in Australia's unprecedented and catastrophic wildfires, which have sparked a continent-wide crisis and forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes in desperation.

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A thirsty koala suffering from the soaring temperatures in South Australia was helped out by a group of cyclists who stopped to offer it a drink from their water bottles.

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NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP satellite flew over the New South Wales fires in Australia on Dec. 16 and found devastation from the ongoing fires. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service is reporting 96 fires are burning and to date the size of the area burned is 1.5 times the size of the state of Connecticut. NASA

The bushfires that have been tearing through New South Wales and Queensland, decimating koala habitats, taxing the water supply, and choking the air since August have claimed six lives. Now, new NASA data shows that the fires have emitted 250 million tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of half thee country's annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to The Guardian. In 2018, Australia's total greenhouse has emissions was 532 million tons of carbon dioxide.

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A video shows a woman rescuing a koala from Australia's wildfires. VOA News / YouTube screenshot

Lewis, the koala who stole the world's heart when a video of his rescue from Australian wildfires went viral, has died.

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A dehydrated and injured Koala receives treatment at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie on Nov. 2 after its rescue from a bushfire. SAEED KHAN / AFP / Getty Images

The recent Australian brushfires and extended drought have decimated the koala population to the point where it may be "functionally extinct," according to an expert at the Australian Koala Foundation, as the Daily Mail in the UK reported.

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A video shows a woman rescuing a koala from Australia's wildfires. VOA News / YouTube screenshot

More than 350 koalas may have died in the wildfires raging near the Australian town of Port Macquarie in New South Wales, but one got a chance at survival after a woman risked her life to carry him to safety.

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A koala at the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie on April 28, 2016. PETER PARKS / AFP / Getty Images

It is feared that an out-of-control brushfire has taken the life of more than 350 koalas in a koala habitat in Port Macquarie, a coastal town in New South Wales just over 200 miles north from Sydney, according to CNN.

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