Koalas Are 'Functionally Extinct' Due To Australian Wildfires, According To Experts

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Koalas Are 'Functionally Extinct' Due To Australian Wildfires, According To Experts

Experts fear that koalas are on the verge of total extinction due to the wildfires currently blazing in Australia.


At first, experts were concerned that hundred of koalas died in the disastrous wildfires in News South Wales and Queensland. Shockingly, though, Deborah Tabart, the chairman of the Australian Koala Foundation, estimated that more than 1,000 koalas have been killed in the deforestation and blazes.


Because of that, koalas are now "functionally extinct" and thus unable to recover, Tabart told Daily Mail Australia.


Koalas Are 'Functionally Extinct' Due To Australian Wildfires, According To Experts

The term "functionally extinct" is used to describe an animal population that has so few pairs that they're really unlikely to produce a new generation, according to BBC. It also describes species that breed in such thinned-out amounts that they are especially susceptible to falling ill from various diseases.


According to Tabart, the death toll in the ongoing blaze has likely reached apocalyptic proportions regarding the koala population.



The koala expert also pointed out that at least 350 koalas were likely killed in the bushfires next to the coastal township of Port Macquarie.


Bushfires have plagued koala habitats in places like Crows Nest and Lake Toowoomba. However, a full account of dead koalas has yet to be taken into account.



One of the worst threats to the koalas' population includes both climate change and arid conditions. Naturally, these make the likelihood of any recovery even smaller. Unfortunately, there won't be much rain in the western regions of NSW in the years to come.


Koalas are still an internationally-recognized symbol of the country. A koala was even featured as the mascot during the Commonwealth Games in 2018.



Nevertheless, Tabart has accused the government of failing to offer proper protectionary measures for the species, like passing the Koala Protection act written back in 2016.


Koala hospitals have been inundated with severely injured and burned koalas, drawing the support of volunteers across the country.


Gordon's hospital has raised more than $1 million to help the injured marsupials, while the initial goal was $25,000. Their campaign aims to install automatic drinking stations for koalas in the regions devastated by the fires.


Donations started pouring in after dramatic video emerged with a woman, Toni Doherty, running into a raging brushfire to save an injured koala named Ellenborough Lewis. The video depicted the koala, badly burned with patches of fur missing, running near the fires before Doherty, rescued him by pouring bottles of water on the poor animal and wrapping him in a blanket.



Fortunately, there are still people out there who try to save these beloved animals. Koala Hospital is a non-profit organisation that rescues wild koalas, rehabilitates and then releases them back to the wild. They collaborate with Australian universities.

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Thinking Humanity: Koalas Are 'Functionally Extinct' Due To Australian Wildfires, According To Experts
Koalas Are 'Functionally Extinct' Due To Australian Wildfires, According To Experts
Experts fear that koalas are on the verge of total extinction due to the wildfires currently blazing in Australia.
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