Australia Could Declare Koalas As Extinct Species Amid Bushfire Crisis

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Wildlife experts from Australia could soon list Koalas as endangered species after their population reduced considerably due to the ongoing bushfires.

Written By Riya Baibhawi | Mumbai | Updated On:
Australia to declare koalas as extinct species amid bushfire crisis

Wildlife experts from Australia could soon list Koalas as endangered species after their population reduced considerably due to the ongoing bushfires. The unprecedented crisis has already killed over a billion animals and destroyed hectares of their habitat majorly in southern part of the country.

Vulnerable before the bushfires

Koalas were already enlisted as vulnerable before the fires started  and later suffered an extraordinary hit after the bushfire annihilated almost 30 per cent of their entire habitat on the continent. A panel was also created to formulate a recovery plan for the marsupials. Sussan Ley, the Australian Environment Minister, on Monday said that everything that can be done to rescue koalas and recover their habitats including the innovative approaches that look at the possibility of putting the animal in the areas it hadn’t come from. 

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Meanwhile, the Australian Federal government has given $25 million to frontline environmental groups and the equal amount to an emergency intervention fund. The environmental groups have accepted the money but said that much more would be needed for the recovery. Australian Conservation Foundation James Trezise said that the vulnerable species should be safeguarded for the future. He added that it would mean protecting their critical habitats, long term funding for the recovery action and stronger national environmental laws.

Read: Australia: Thirsty Koala Stops Cyclist To Drink Water Amid Heatwave

Read: Heartbreaking Photo Shows Firefighter And Koala Watching Forest Burn

A few days ago, a koala suffering from South Australia's extreme temperatures reportedly stopped a group of cyclists in their tracks to drink water from a water bottle. According to international media reports, Anna Heusler and a group of cyclists were riding towards Adelaide on December 27 when they spotted the koala sitting in the middle of the road after which they stopped to help the animal back into nearby bushland. While speaking to an international media outlet, Heusler said that she stopped the bike and the koala walked right up to her after which the group gave him water. The fire in the Adelaide Hills has reportedly burned 25,000 hectares of land, leaving koalas scavenging for food, home and water. According to a recent inquiry conducted in New South Wales, it has also been found that more than 2,000 of the native Australian koalas may have died on the state's north coast in the intense bushfires. 

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