This Country Cherishes its Cuddly Koalas!

A new initiative leveling up the TLC for these iconic and adorable creatures is underway.

Feb 9, 2022
This Country Cherishes its Cuddly Koalas! | A new initiative leveling up the TLC for these iconic and adorable creatures is underway.

There’s no doubt that koalas are one of the most endearing animal species in the world. These unique marsupials know how to earn the affection of Australian locals, but also of people worldwide.

But these cherished creatures are also endangered. Because of this, the Australian government is now upping the resources it designates to protect and recover its koala populations, CNN reveals. This is because these beloved national symbols of the country’s unique wildlife have been made vulnerable to extinction by several factors. These  include loss of their habitats due to extensive bushfires and deforestation as a result of urban development, as well as the spread of chlamydia.

An initiative that matters
Most koalas live in the branches of trees in the tall eucalyptus forests and low eucalyptus woodlands of eastern Australia, and also along the country’s coastlines. 

To help preserve its koala species, Australia has an ambitious plan. The county has recently pledged 35 million US dollars in the next four years to protect the habitats of these marsupials, USA Today details.

The fund will go to "restoring koala habitat, improving our understanding of koala populations, supporting training in koala treatment and care, and strengthening research into koala health outcomes," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told CNN.

Since 2018, there has been a 30 percent decline in koala populations across the country. The Australian Koala Foundation reveals that at least 6,400 koalas were killed in the bushfires of 2019 and 2020, which also destroyed more than 12 million acres of land across New South Wales alone, Australian news outlet SBS News reported. 

But there’s another challenge that needs to be tackled, the chlamydia spread. This sexually transmitted disease can affect the reproductive tract of these sweet animals, causing infertility and even death.

Koalas have been assessed by the Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and have been listed as “vulnerable”, meaning they are at risk of extinction. The IUCN says there are between 100 thousand and half a million koalas in existence,  but the Australian Koala Foundation suggests the number is lower than that, closer to 58 thousand, CNN points out.

A beacon of hope for koalas
The Australian government maintains that with its initiative, it will have allocated 52 million US dollars to the protection of koalas since 2019. And these efforts are essential to stopping koala population numbers from dwindling further. 

According to local organizations, any real solution should address the root cause of their decline, which is habitat loss and climate change, International Fund for Animal Welfare campaign manager Josey Sharrad told SBS News.

So it seems that the time has come for us to raise our voices to protect these furry cultural treasures. There is hope of turning this around if we wish to see its sweet image not only in stories, songs and in objects, but also hanging from those tall eucalyptus trees.

It is up to us to ensure future generations will have the chance to see these endearing and iconic Australian animals out there in the wild, where they truly belong.

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With a love for fashion, technology, self-development, nature and communication, Daiana is a freelance writer. She is the creator of an online community platform dedicated to providing inspiration and information on trends, developments and positive impact initiatives in the world of Sustainable Fashion.