The Australian Koala Foundation reports that thousands of koalas are “missing” from the country’s eucalyptus forests. Koalas face an array of problems including habitat loss, and conservationists want the government to take action by listing the winsome marsupial as a vulnerable species.
Where Have All The Koala Bears Gone?
Australian conservationists concerned over the plight of the koala bear report that populations of the animal are between 20 percent and 50 percent lower than previous estimates. Scientists who surveyed koalas and koala habitat for the Australian Koala Foundation recently concluded that no more than 80,000 koalas remain in the wild in Australia, and that the total population may number as few as 48,000.
Prior to the release of the Foundation’s figures last week, koalas were thought to number around 100,000 in the wild. The Foundation now wants the Australian government to declare the koala a “Vulnerable” species, a move which would cover the creatures with a stronger set of legal protections than they currently enjoy.
According to the Foundation, the animal has suffered extensive habitat loss as the eucalyptus forests it depends on for survival are cut down to make room for houses, roads and agriculture. But the koala—which along with the kangaroo stands as an international symbol for Australia—faces a host of other problems as well. For instance, the Foundation says 4,000 koalas a year are killed by cars and dogs. Others fall victim to wildfires and disease.
Visit the Australian Koala Foundation website.
“Green” Questions—And “Green” Answers
Trying to live an environmentally responsible life can be both complicated and time-consuming. But a new website, GreenAnswers.com, is here to help. If you’ve got questions about anything having to do with the environmental or “green” living, GreenAnswers.com will try to get the answers for you. And if you’re knowledgeable in some aspect of the environment, GreenAnswers.com welcomes you to share what you know. Give them a peek right here.