According to the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) there could be less than 80 000 Koalas left in Australia today. Why? Humans need space! We like to live in peaceful areas and have comfortable homes. Australia has plenty of space to have people live happily but this could be to the detriment of wildlife and the Koala in general.
It’s not that humans are bad, we just like the same things that animals like. Warm temperate climates, good fertile soils and the sea. The interior of Australia is a hot desert, why would you live there when you can be near the comfort of the sea? I say all this as currently there is discussion about a cull of Koalas going on.
When numbers are low for any species, we begin to put in place measures to bolster the numbers, but on this occasion the opposite seems true – So what’s going on?
According to Andrew C Revkin from the New York Times, Koalas are in threat from a disease that could potentially wipe them out. A disease which seems to have possibly spread from livestock (although still to be confirmed!) – Chlamydia. (Article here)
The AKF maintains that approximaetly 80% of Australia’s Eucalyptus forests have been cleared since European settlement, but staggeringly they point out that of the 20% remaining “almost none is protected”! (Here)
We are taking note more and more of our environment, and debates about what can be done are also a dialogue on discussing how we treat humans as well as animals in our world. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary gives talks and school visits to children, as many zoos do, to educate them on the need to look after our wildlife. On the 7th Septemeber they were in the Queen Street Mall highlighting some of the animals on the threated species list on National Threatened Species Day. (Here)
The Guardian published an article in December 2014 with the headline, “Koalas face extinction without stronger protection, say conservationists“. Nearly a year on The New Your Times is publishing an article suggesting further culling of the species.
Our world has been robust, the animals have had to adapt and survive to ever changing climates, but today the changes are too fast as we begin to mold the world to our own design. These issue do not only highlight the plight of a species or type of vegetation, they are ultimately addressing the need for us to focus on human life too.
When we can agree as humans on what the right way forward is, we can all back that plan and move onwards. The Koalas are just another pointer for us to get ourselves organised as the “intelligent” species on this planet.