A Greens MP has called for urgent action to protect koalas amid fears 85 per cent of the koala population on the NSW mid-north coast has been lost to bushfires.

A NSW upper house inquiry into koala populations and habitat on Monday held a hearing in Port Macquarie – which is known for its koala population and was ravaged by bushfires late last year.

Committee chair and NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann said the hearing was told 85 per cent of the koala population was lost in the Port Macquarie local government area.

“That’s extremely shocking and really should be a wake up call to the government to pause any threats to koala habitat including logging and development in key areas,” she told AAP.

Koalas can’t wait six or 12 months for reports.”

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The upper house committee also visited Port Macquarie Koala Hospital where they were told of an increase in the number of dehydrated and malnourished koalas being brought in before the fires because of the drought.

“There are so many threats that if we are going to stop this wonderful animal from becoming extinct we have to really really prioritise securing and protecting their habitat now,” Ms Faehrmann said.

The inquiry will hold a hearing in Coffs Harbour on Tuesday after the committee visits Urunga to hear about a proposal for a koala national park in the area to conserve and protect the species.

The committee, which also includes two Labor and two Liberal MPs, a Nationals MP and an Animal Justice MP, is examining the impacts on koala populations and the effectiveness of policies in place to protect the species.

It is due to report back to NSW parliament by June 15.

AAP

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