Who knew Koalas, of all creatures, were about THAT life???
But despite a number of factors threatening the small marsupial, it seems the Australian government is hesitant to place it on the endangered species list, according to Le Monde. The problem is getting so bad that in some places in Australia the population has been reduced to 20% of what it once was.
But what’s killing the koala is a bit surprising. While climate change and urban development have perhaps had the biggest impact on the animal, a third factor is also pushing it towards extinction, according to the Telegraph — chlamydia.
The bacterial infection, which is commonly know as a sexually transmitted disease among humans, has been decimating the koala population. Some estimates say koalas could go extinct in less than 30 years, according to the Telegraph.
Though it’s true that in some areas the koala population has not significantly decreased, many of the local population are the result of reintroduction by conservationists, according to Le Monde. The lack of genetic diversity in the region as a result doesn’t guarantee the creature’s continued survival.
Yet the government hasn’t taken significant steps to protect the animal, despite how much of a symbol it is for Australia (it’s even on the money).
Koalas generate plenty of money for Australia too: because of them, the Australian tourism industry brings in an estimated $1 Billion a year.
In 2009, the population had dropped from 100,000 to about 43,000.
But nobody is explaining where the hell the Koalas got chlamydia to begin with.