Koala’s Future in Danger, Experts Say

November 25, 2019 | Top News

Koala's Future in DangerAustralia has been suffering from deadly wildfires since September last year. And because of the intensifying drought, wild fires are becoming harder and harder to put off and have been killing people, as well as the country’s wild animals which sparked reports that koalas are going extinct. However, experts debunked the rumors but warned of the dangers in the future.

There is no doubt that the wild fires, fueled by drought, tearing across the eastern part of Australia have been hurting wild animals, especially koalas. With large areas of their crucial habitat extremely damaged, it is unclear as to what the future holds for these animals. Some animals including koalas have been rescued from the wild, though. But due to the blazes that are still burning, it is hard to know how many have been killed and how many are still in danger out there in the wild. Just last week, a dramatic video of a woman trying to rescue a koala even went viral and elicited emotional responses from netizens around the world (the koala was rescued and was taken to a hospital but his injuries were just too severe that the doctors decided to put him to sleep on Tuesday).

Hence, speculations made rounds on the internet that koalas have become “functionally extinct,” meaning they no longer play a role in an ecosystem or that they are on their way to extinction. Such reports about one of the world’s favorite fuzzy marsupials troubled a lot of people from all over the world.

Thankfully, experts recently debunked the rumors, reiterating that koalas are not extinct. They could go extinct, though.

As per the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, the koala population is declining and vulnerable but it is not endangered. Furthermore, as per Noah Greenwald, the endangered species director at the center for Biological Diversity, koalas are indeed in a lot of trouble, given the fact that wild fires in Australia are getting bigger and bigger and harder to put out. Scientists also warned about the spread of such false news as it can hurt conservation efforts.

Koalas have evolved to exist alongside bordering on wildfires. However, animals including koalas are facing new threats from human development that has dislocated local populations and negatively affected their ability to survive climate change, as well as fires.

They need our care and help if they’re going to survive,” Greenwald said.

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