Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Will koalas starve to death?

Koalas, one of the most lovable animals on our planet, are extremely vulnerable to climate change, and as the world is warming, koalas are finding it more and more difficult to find food with adequate nutritional value which could soon lead to their deaths due to the starvation.

The higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are causing faster growth of the plants but the main problems is that these plants, in koala's case Eucalytpus leaves, have very low nutritional value. Since koala's food has less nutritional value koalas have to eat more to compensate, and according to IUCN koalas already eat up to 500g of leaves a day and their guts may not be able to hold much more.

Climate change is also very likely to cause more droughts and bushfires in Australia, which would force slow-moving koalas to leave their trees in search of water and safety, and on this road many of koalas will die as they are very vulnerable to wild and domestic predators, as well as to road traffic.

Koalas are still not listed as endangered in Australia, despite some serious decline in certain areas of Australia. But this well-known species, and one of the most famous animals in the world is likely to feel the heat of climate change in the worst possible way, and this is something we must prevent if we want to introduce our future generations with this adorable animals.

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