Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late Crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, may be the youngest person to ever address the National Press Club in Washington DC. According to ABC Online she follows in the footsteps of Winston Churchill, Indira Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
But the new face of nature conservation got it wrong when she suggested koalas could go extinct in “my lifetime”:
“It is very sad that in my lifetime, a lot of wildlife could disappear,” she said, wearing her trademark khaki and pigtails. “We could lose tigers and gorillas and even my favourite koalas.” “We need to help my daddy’s work and make this world a perfect place for animals.”
In fact there is no evidence to suggest that the Australian koala is threatened with extinction, and some evidence to suggest some populations, including on Kangaroo Island, may benefit from culling.
How could Bindi get it so wrong?
Perhaps the economics of conservation favours ignorance and failure?
Indeed the Australian Koala Foundation has generated and maintained its support base on the false belief that the Australian koala is a species in decline and furthermore the organisation has not supported measures, in particular control burning, that may significantly benefit koala populations.