Koalas are in peril but are yet to be listed as an endangered species. In some parts of Australia, population numbers have dropped by 80 percent! Australian scientists mainly blame drought, disease and habitat destruction for their depleted numbers. They are also concerned about climate change.
As the weather heats up, koalas are pushed into urban areas and face new dangers such as cars and dog attacks. Koalas are unable to adapt to hot and dry conditions and many fall ill or die from dehydration or heat stress.
Advocacy groups, koala lovers and scientists are all asking Tony Burke, the Federal Minister of Sustainability, to list the animals as an endangered species and create a federal protection plan for the remaining koalas.
A special committee has been set up to study the koala population and the problems that plague them, but Burke has the power to protect them. The decision is scheduled to be made by April 30 2012.
Send a letter to Tony Burke by signing the petition and ask him to place protections over Australia's koalas. Email: Tony.Burke.MP@aph.gov.au
For more information and links to the koala crisis see the May 2012 National Geographic Magazine koala decline feature story. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/05/koala-rescue/jenkins-text
If you want to help in other ways go to www.koalahospital.com