The horrific effect of deforestation summed up in one photo

Scattered among the piles of twigs and rubble, a young koala searches desperately for her home. She’s lost, alone and confused, for what was once a budding forest full of life is now scrap and debris.

The young female koala, nicknamed Ash, was rescued by a volunteer from Wildcare Australia Inc. after she was spotted wandering around an urban development site. The area, located in Queensland, Australia, was bulldozed as part of a project to build new homes. However, the former forest was already home to a number of species, including wallabies, echidnas, birds, bats and reptiles, many of whom would have lost their lives during the destruction.

Queensland is already suffering from massive land-clearing projects; last year, nearly 680,000 acres of forested land had been wiped out, resulting in a dramatic loss of biodiversity.

via Bill Laurance / The Conversation
via Bill Laurance / The Conversation

Ash is one of the lucky few to have been rescued, but it is estimated that there are 500 koalas still living in the area.

The heartbreaking photo, which was posted by Wildcare Australia Inc. on their Facebook page, captures the devastation caused by deforestation.