Thursday, 12 April, 2007

Koalas might dissappear

Koalas are hooked on eucalyptus and put cheez wiz on the leaves they run into the hall and sleep with the kids in front of the tv. But in the future only koalaghosts (lemurian cousins) might run into your backyard and do tricks....

Extreme drought, ferocious bushfires and urban development are killing Australia’s koalas and could push the species towards extinction within a decade, environmentalists say. Alarms about the demise of the iconic and peculiar animal, which sleeps about 20 hours per day and eats only the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, have been raised before.

But Deborah Tabart, chief executive officer of the Australia Koala Foundation, believes the animal’s plight is as bad as she has seen in her 20 years as a koala advocate. “In southeast Queensland we had them listed as a vulnerable species which could go to extinction within ten years. That could now be seven years,” she said. “The koala’s future is bleak.”

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