Koalas Are Functionally Extinct With Just 80,000 Left In The Wild

Articles May 17, 2019 23:58

The number of koalas in Australia has fallen so low the species is functionally extinct and unlikely to produce a new generation, campaigners have warned. The Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) believes there are as little as 80,000 left in the wild across the country.

Functionally extinct describes an animal population which is either so small it has ceased to affect its environment, has no breeding pairs left, or is still breeding but from such a small number of individuals that it succumbs to genetic disease.

The foundation says that, since 2010, it has monitored 128 Federal electorates that fall within known koala environments, and in 41 there are no koalas left.

While researchers admit that the koala's tendency to move around and its patchwork habitat make it difficult to track, they say numbers are in steep decline. The biggest threats to koalas are habitat loss and heatwaves caused by climate change, such as the one last year that saw thousands of animals die from dehydration, studies have shown.

Since May 2012, koalas have been officially listed as vulnerable in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

With proper habitat protection and a bit of management they are in no danger of extinction. However, getting that habitat protection is the most difficult part.

They also can’t survive in sustained temperatures exceeding 38 degrees Celsius and don’t seem to be smart enough to seek shelter from the heat.

They're not very good at the whole staying alive thing.

Koalas Are Functionally Extinct With Just 80,000 Left In The Wild
Habitat loss and heatwaves caused by climate change, including the one that struck Australia last year were identified as two of the biggest threats to the animals

AKF chairman Deborah Tabart said:

I’m calling on the new Prime Minister after the May election to enact the Koala Protection Act, which has been written and ready to go since 2016. The plight of the koala now falls on his shoulders.

It is time for Australian forests to be protected. Both parties say they want to protect the environment. It would be a great way to start by protecting Koala forests which cover 20 per cent of our continent.

I know the Australian public are concerned for the safety of Koalas and are tired of seeing dead Koalas on our roads. It is time for the Government to respect the Koala and protect its habitat.”

Koalas Are Functionally Extinct With Just 80,000 Left In The Wild

In 2013-14, Australian authorities have killed almost 700 koalas to prevent overpopulation in a coastal bushland region after members of a starving colony were seen “falling out of trees”. The koalas were taken from trees and killed by lethal injection.

Read more news up-to-date at: https://break.com/

Source: https://9gag.com/gag/aNYGeGG?ref=fbp

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