Australia’s Koala Bears Have Become Endangered
The cuddly and adorable koala bears of Australia are fast becoming an endangered species. In the wild, the koala bear population is declining fast. Scientists say the total koala population in Australia ranges between 50,000 to 10,000.
But clearly, their numbers are dropping fast. In the Gold Coast area, the koala population has declined by about 80% compared to the 1990s. Many factors are contributing to the decline of the koalas.
First, koalas are struggling for shelter and food, which are increasingly becoming scarce due to widespread farming and urbanization. Koalas need eucalyptus trees which grow only in specific areas. Unfortunately, koalas live in places that have fertile soil. This habitat is much sought after by humans.
With increasing urbanization, koalas are forced to live near towns and cities, where they are attacked by dogs or run over by cars. Climate change is another important factor as increasing heat and drought are detrimental to the koala’s habitat.
Another important reason for the koala’s decline is a bacterium named Chlamydia, which affects the hapless bears. Scientists are urging the Australian government to declare the koalas an endangered species.