Australia is named as the ONLY developed nation on a list of 24 global ...

An achievement not worth celebrating: Australia is named as the ONLY developed nation on a list of 24 deforestation hotspots Half the natural forests in inland eastern Australia have now been bulldozed  More than 700 native plant and animal species, including koalas, are threatened  Cattle ranching was the largest contributor to deforestation in eastern Australia 

By Charlotte Karp For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 04:40 GMT, 14 January 2021 | Updated: 04:40 GMT, 14 January 2021

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A shocking new report has named Australia as the only developed nation on a list of 24 deforestation fronts worldwide.

Half the natural forests in inland eastern Australia have been bulldozed, according to a report released on Thursday by wilderness preservation group the World Wide Fund for Nature.

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More than 700 native plant and animal species, including koalas, are now threatened due to logging and land clearing to make way for livestock.

Australia secured its place on the list because the Queensland and New South Wales governments axed restrictions on broadscale land clearing for agricultural purposes.

A mother koala and her baby sitting on top of a log pile in Queensland after land clearing

A mother koala and her baby sitting on top of a log pile in Queensland after land clearing

A bulldozer clearing trees for urban expansion in Ipswich, south-west of Brisbane, in Queensland

A bulldozer clearing trees for urban expansion in Ipswich, south-west of Brisbane, in Queensland

NSW saw a surge in clearing by farmers when NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian replaced vegetation laws in August 2017.

As a result, the 29,400 hectares cleared in 2018 was eight per cent higher than the previous year, but more than twice the 12,300 hectares removed on average between 2009 and 2017.

The Campbell Newman government in Queensland passed a suit of land-clearing laws in 2013, accelerating deforestation until they were revised in 2018.

Between 2016 and 2018, almost 250,000 hectares of threatened species habitat were destroyed in Queensland.

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Pictured: a young greater glider that was displaced by land clearing in Chinchilla, north-west of Brisbane

Pictured: a young greater glider that was

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