Koalas are being wiped out by the Australian bushfire
Koalas are dying in Australia, killed by the raging bushfires. Warmer weather brought by climate change threatens to worsen conditions for koalas, as deforestation has narrowed habitable areas.
It feels like the Earth is on fire right now, and not in a good way.
In 2019, we have seen massive wildfires decimate parts of the Amazon rainforest, the Californian outback, and now, Australia is being engulfed by bushfires.
And here's the most heartbreaking part - these bushfires have been the cause of the deaths of more than 350 Koalas already. As a record number of fires blaze around New South Wales, about half the koalas habitating on a coastal reserve in the state have died.
This year's bushfire season came to a far-too-early start, and nearly two-thirds of the koalas' habitat, at the Lake Innes Nature Reserve, was destroyed in the last month alone. The rest remains under threat.
There are 15 major blazes underway in NSW right one, and one is centered on the Lake Innes Nature Reserve. According to estimates from the Koala Conservation Australia group, the reserve has a total population of 500 to 600 koalas, out of which 350 have died.
According to Reuters reports, animal carers at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital nearby have been nursing rescued koalas, bandaging their wounds and feeding them eucalyptus leaves and formula.
Speaking to Reuters, Amanda Gordon, who leads the team of carers, said, "We look for signals of pain - teeth grinding, distress - and we just take it on a day-by-day basis." She added that some of the marsupials' health problems can be hard to spot. "Sometimes koalas seem to be doing really, really well. Their paws might be healing up but if something's going on that we can't see there's not really much we can do."
Population estimates for koalas, native to Australia, vary widely, from as few as 50,000 to little more than 100,000. They dwell mostly in eucalypt forests in eastern states and on the coastal fringes, usually living up to 20 years, carrying their young in a pouch and sleeping for up to 18 hours a day. Warmer weather brought by climate change threatens to worsen conditions for koalas, as deforestation has narrowed habitable areas