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December 10, 2019

What the fires have really done to our koalas

What the fires have really done to our koalas
Dr. Chris Brown
by CHRIS BROWN

It turns out the losses of koalas in these bushfires were worse than we ever thought...or feared. A parliamentary inquiry into the future of the species has heard that around 2,000 of these little faces have been lost. With some estimates putting the total population at just 80,000, it’s 2.5% of the entire population lost in the last month. It’s utterly heartbreaking. And sounds the loudest warning yet that their future is looking truly dire. The lack of habitat, the catastrophic losses of genetically diverse breeding populations and the increased toxicity in the eucalyptus leaves they eat (due to the drought) means the most pessimistic predictions of the koala’s functional extinction in the wild are now a stark reality in the next 20 years.

So what can we do? Demand action to put the plight of our natural world back on the agenda. And measures like those proposed in QLD to increase protection measures that can save precious koala habitats will also help. Water stations and breeding programs to bring the population back from the brink are also crucial.

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