Are koalas functionally extinct? No, not necessarily... Watch

Obolinda
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Hundreds of koalas have been killed and millions of hectares of their habitat destroyed in the bushfires that have swept across parts of Australia this month.

A recent headline in Forbes alleged the fires had rendered koalas “functionally extinct”, a claim that was repeated widely in Australia and overseas, including by the Daily Mail and news.com.au.

The claim, which originated from a release in May*by the Australian Koala Foundation, has been*criticised by koala experts and science commentators*for overstating the plight of the popular marsupial.

So what is the truth about the threats to Australia’s koala population?

Are koalas ‘functionally extinct’?

The short answer is no.

Koala populations are in trouble, but this is due to a gradual process of deforestation over many years. This has been made worse by the recent fires, but the full scale of the damage is not yet known.

Stuart Blanch from WWF Australia says if a population is no longer genetically viable, koalas could be said to be “functionally extinct” in some areas.

“But there are large areas of large numbers of koalas that are still viable,” he says. “And they are our hope.

https://www.theguardian.com/environm...cies-at-stake?
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DiddyDecAlt
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Forbes and Daily Mail aren't known for their quality journalism.
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CoolCavy
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Animals have a way of springing back from things like natural wildfires. It's things like deforestation and loss of their eucalyptus trees that is the real problem.
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Obolinda
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
Animals have a way of springing back from things like natural wildfires. It's things like deforestation and loss of their eucalyptus trees that is the real problem.
Agreed
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Napp
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
Animals have a way of springing back from things like natural wildfires. It's things like deforestation and loss of their eucalyptus trees that is the real problem.
I rather hope so, they're adorable little things!
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by Napp)
I rather hope so, they're adorable little things!
Cute but also quite useless

Then again arent we all
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Obolinda
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
Cute but also quite useless
in terms of their role in the ecosystem or their general day to day activity?
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by Obolinda)
in terms of their role in the ecosystem or their general day to day activity?
Both really, afaik all they do is sleep, eat non nutritional eucalyptus and spread chlamydia amongst themselves
Then again am not a koala expert so am happy to be proven wrong
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