Australian government to invest $35 million to protect Koalas that are facing Extinction
The Australian government pledged that they will spend $50 million Australian($35 million US) for the next four years to protect one of the most iconic animal species, Koalas. According to the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, This is a remarkable mission by the Australian government to boost long-term protection and recovery of the endangered Koala population.
The koala is an arboreal(species living in trees) being mostly found in Australia. Koala is recognized worldwide as the symbol of Australia. They’re are listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN(International Union for Conservation of Nature). Commonly, Koalas live in eucalyptus forests found in the eastern states and on the coastal fringes, they have a life span of around 20 years. They carry their baby in their pouch and they will sleep for up to 18 hours a day.
“Koalas are one of Australia’s most loved and best-recognized icons, both here at home and across the world, and we are committed to protecting them for generations to come,” said Scott Morrison. “The fund will be used for restoring koala habitat, improving our understanding of koala populations, supporting training in koala treatment and care, and strengthening research into koala health outcomes.”
By adding the new investment of $50 million Australian ($35 million US) with their previous investment, the Australian government will spend $74 million Australian ($52 million US) in total for the protection of Koalas. About 30% of Koalas in Australia have been died due to bushfire, drought, and habitat loss, based on a statement by the Australian Koala Foundation.
After the catastrophic bushfires which destroyed more than 12 million acres (48,000 square kilometers) of land, a huge population of Koala were lost. World Wildlife Fund estimates that more than 60,000 Koalas had been killed, injured, or affected in some ways by bushfires in 2019 and 2020.
Not only that, the Australian Koala Foundation was also concerned about the STD(Sexually Transmitted Disease) called Chlamydia which is found in humans. According to the foundation, Chlamydia had spread among koalas, and affected half of the animals in some areas. Chlamydia can cause blindness and pain in the animal’s reproductive tract which may lead to infertility or even death.
But the new investment will give a huge dose of relaxation. Because the government will be spent the amount for habitat restoration, studying the population, and expanding research on koala health. Scientists are now working on developing vaccines against chlamydia to protect the animals. There are also analyzing the genetic strength of the populations to know how unique DNA variants can give resistance to the diseases.
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