Koalas Are Fast Becoming Extinct And Nothing Will Stop It
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Koalas Are Fast Becoming Extinct And Nothing Will Stop It

Koalas as disappearing fast There are fewer than 100,000 koalas left in the wild Koalas eat eucalyptus leaves

Another popular and very beautiful animal is on the verge of the extinction according to recently released figures. The main problem is that the forests where these Australian marsupials live are slowly being destroyed. The creatures are being pushed into smaller and smaller areas.

Female koala

Source: Wikipedia Creative Commons

The reasons for this deforestation are climate change, drought, and, inevitably, mankind. Koalas eat the leaves of Eucalyptus trees and there are more than seven hundred different varieties of these but the koalas only eat a few of them. As their favorite eucalyptus types become rarer they will become extinct.

Male koala

Koala are gradually being forced into smaller and smaller areas right across Australia and this has led to areas where populations have almost died out and other areas where there are far too many koalas for the food supply available. Both scenarios spell extinction.

These creatures face a number of threats to their survival apart from the destruction of the forests. They are increasingly disturbed by humans, and suffer horrendous injuries, or even death in traffic accidents. Many are killed by domestic cats and dogs, or poisoned by garden pesticides which leak into the waterways. More than four thousand koala bears are killed each year by dogs and motor vehicles. The more roads that are built in deforested areas, the higher this figure will go.

Baby koala

Source: Wikipedia Creative Commons

Bush fires are far more likely in areas that are being developed and many koalas are killed each year by these.

The competition for food and territory is growing all the time and the increasing levels of stress on the koalas make them more likely to pick up diseases.

Koala do have a few natural predators but this does not have a significant effect of their populations. The main threat comes from dingoes, owls, eagles and pythons which all attack young koalas.

Although koalas are known as bears, that is actually incorrect, they are marsupials and not members of the bear family. They give birth into a kind of pocket at the front of the abdomen and the partially developed young remain in the pouch until they are properly formed.

Koalas have five digits on each front paw and one of them works a bit like our thumb and can be moved independently, and the second and third toes on their back legs are joined together to make what is known as a grooming claw.

The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that there are fewer than a hundred thousand koalas remaining in the whole of Australia and they say that much of their habitat has now been destroyed so it is almost an impossible task to protect the remaining few.


National Geographic

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Comments (5)

JUst voted up!

This is so sad! Good article.

Good article, Louie. I've held a koala in a wildlife park and they are adorable. I'm glad you mentioned bush fires. Fires are widespread at this time of year and such a huge threat.

Nice article Louie. We also have similar concerns about the unique wildlife in our place. :-)

Erik Kambestad Veland


Thank you for using my photo which are available under the creative commons license. While the image is free to use for non-profit, the CC license states that you must attribute the photo to its author (me) in order to comply.

If you could please add a Photo by: Erik K Veland under my photo (cutest-koala.jpg), that would be appreciated. Thanks.