After the bushfires: Australia classifies the koala as an endangered species

scientific studies

According to the animal welfare organization International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the protection status was upgraded on the basis of two scientific studies. This would have shown that the koala population in tropical Queensland has declined by at least 50 percent since 2001 and that NSW koalas are critically endangered.

“The decision to raise the level of protection is now urgent,” said Rebecca Kebble, IFAW’s Regional Director for Oceania. She said the Australian government had failed to take early action to protect koalas. It is now imperative to secure key koala habitats, reconnect wildlife corridors and reduce major threats to the animals.

“national symbol”

“It shouldn’t get to the point where Australia is now in danger of losing a national icon,” said Cable. The koala’s situation should be a wake-up call for Australia and the government to speed up its efforts. “Critical habitats must be protected from development and deforestation, and the effects of climate change must be aggressively addressed.”

Koalas – or ‘Phascolarctos cinereus’ – are a downward marsupial settlement that sleeps most of the day perched in trees and feeding exclusively on eucalyptus leaves. This is possible because the digestive system is able to neutralize toxic chemicals in plants. According to the Australian Koala Foundation, there are no more than 100,000 koalas left in the wild, “but probably no more than 43,000 koalas,” the foundation said.

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