The koala population faces an immediate threat of extinction after the Australia bushfires, new report finds

(CNN)Following the devastating bushfires in Australia, there is now a significant and immediate threat of extinction to the koala population, according to a new report.

A minimum of 5,000 koalas are estimated to have died, according to the report released Wednesday by the global conservation group International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
That's nearly 12 percent of the animal's population in New South Wales (NSW).
These estimates are an intentionally conservative calculations, IFAW Wildlife Campaigner Josey Sharrad told CNN in an email. The actual number is likely to be much higher.
    "Koalas are particularly vulnerable to bushfires as they are slow moving and live in eucalyptus trees that burn quickly and intensely," Sharrad said.
    "When fires sweep through their homes, they often don't have time to escape, particularly in intense crown fires that rage through the treetops where they live," she added.
    More than 12 million acres of land burned across NSW during the bushfires, and nearly 45 million acres burned across Australia, leaving the koala habitat unsuitable for living.
    Finding "an immediate, ongoing and significant threat of extinction," the report states that koalas are eligible for a provisional listing as Endangered on an emergency basis under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act of 2016.
    The endangered listing would last for two years to allow the species the breathing space to being to recover while experts further evaluate the situation.