Thursday 23 May 2019

Koalas declared 'functionally extinct' across Australia

Activists say that the fluffy grey marsupial should be given the same respect enjoyed by the bald eagle in the US.

By Sharon Marris, news reporter
Friday 17 May 2019 23:20, UK

The Australian Koala Foundations says there are not enough breeding adults to support the next generation.

Koalas are "functionally extinct" in their native Australia, it has been declared.

The Australian Koala Foundation's chairman Deborah Tabart says there are no more than 80,000 koalas in the country and, while this might seem like a lot, there are not enough breeding adults to support the next generation.

She said the number was a fraction of the eight million koalas shot for fur and sent to London between 1890 and 1927.

"Functionally extinct" is a scientific term to describe the species as being "beyond the point of recovery".

Rising temperatures and heatwaves causing deforestation have combined with the appetite of various industries and urbanisation to cut down the number of koala habitats.

Activists worry that it would only take a new disease to kill off the remaining koalas.

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