Nature 333619286_ffecb2f0e0

Published on December 15th, 2008 | by Melissa Elliott

3

Conservationists Warn Koalas Could Be Headed For Extinction

December 15th, 2008 by

Conservationists claim Australia’s iconic koala will become extinct in some areas of the country if the federal government does not take urgent action. A group of Australian scientists recently met with government officials to develop a national koala conservation strategy to keep key populations of the animals from dying out.

The Australian Koala Foundation says less than 100,000 koalas are left in the country, compared to millions before they were heavily hunted for fur in the 1920’s. The “Koala Coast”, an area in southeast Queensland, has seen the population fall by at least 26% to 4,611 animals since a 1996-1999 survey as development encroached on their natural habitats.

[social_buttons]

Kat Miller of the World Wildlife Fund agrees with the AKF saying, “There are more than 1,700 federally-listed threatened populations of animals in Australia. There is an extinction crisis in Australia. The koala may well be the next one to go downhill.”

Climate change has played a role in the decline of koalas, altering the nutritional make-up of gumtree leaves, their staple food. Post mortems of around 700 koalas in southeast Queensland have found that most were “wasted” when they died.

The Australian Koala Foundation is urging Environment Minister Peter Garrett to declare the southeast Queensland koala population as critically endangered under law in a bid to protect their habitats from further developments. “This is the most important thing Minister Garrett and his department can do right now to show he is serious about saving the koala,” said Kathleen Tabart from the AKF.

Garrett has said he had charged Australia’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee with assessing the risk to the koala but warned that he needed to await the committee’s report before he could act. “This is a clear indication of how seriously the Australian government is considering reports from the Australian Koala Foundation and others on diminishing koala numbers in some regions,” the minister said.

To find out what you can do to help, visit the Australian Koala Foundation at SaveTheKoala.com.

Image Credit: piston9 on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

Keep up to date with all the most interesting green news on the planet by subscribing to our (free) Planetsave newsletter.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

Melissa Elliott is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. Her personal blog, TheUrbanHousewife.com, documents her culinary adventures from her kitchen to vegan food around the world. When she's not glued to her computer or on the road, she loves to spend time with her husband, Ryan, cats Beamish & Scurvy, and beloved chihuahua, Strummer.



Back to Top ↑
  • Connect!

  • 5 Ingredients For A Green Life

    Green Living Info
  • Advertisement

  • 7 Ways to Go Solar

    Solar Power Growth
  • 8 Electric Car Benefits

    electric car benefits
  • Advertisement

  • 10 Bicycling Benefits

    Dutch Bicyclist
  • Save $10,000/Year Riding Transit

    transit savings
  • Advertisement

  • Electric Cars List (US & Europe)

    Solar Power Growth
  • Top Posts On Planetsave

  • Free News from Planetsave!



  • Tell us Your Sustainability Story!

  • Go Solar

    Want to save the planet? Want to live green? Want to save some serious cash money? Go solar! The cost of solar panels today is at a serious low. Go and get a solar quote and home solar report for your home... and then help save the planet!
  • Search the IM Network