The Koala could be added to the list of endangered species




I’m kind of sad because I just found out one of my favorite animals might soon be added to the endangered species list. The Australian government is considering adding its national icon the Kola to the endangered species list. I knew they were beginning to become threatened because last year Australia actually launched a full inquiry after some experts in the country stated there may be as little as 43,000 koalas left in all of Australia.

Over the last 200 years, millions of these beautiful creatures have been killed from being hunted, the destruction of their habitat, dog attacks and most seriously of all an increase in diseases including chlamydia and retrovirus.

I was reading last week that on average the Australian Zoo Wildlife Hospital stated they treat on average four koalas a week that have been hit by cars now that roadways and housing have entered areas normally home to these adorable animals. The government in Australia said that they should have a decision on whether or not to add the koala to the endangered species list in the next three months. Right now, koalas are actually listed as “vulnerable” but that status doesn’t actually give them any special protection it’s just a fancy way of saying we need to keep an eye out to make sure we don’t kill them all off.

The decision on whether or not the koala bear should be regarded as an endangered species has been considered three times in the last 15 years by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) each time a decision has been put off due to lack of information. The current meeting which should be voted on within the next 10 weeks actually has over 25 year’s worth of studies showing the rapid decline in the population and actually placing koala numbers at around 26,000 left in the wild.

Internationally, the koala is listed as of “least concern” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List. However, the U.S. considers the marsupial a threatened species. I sure hope something is done to protect these fuzzy little marsupials because it would be a shame if the entire species is gone by the time my future grandchildren are old enough to visit a zoo and see one. Experts say if the current trend numbers of the koala bear’s population decline are taken into account you may see an entire species extinction within the next 35 years.

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