It’s no secret that Australian bushfires have been and are still wrecking havoc on the natural habitats of the poor Koalas.
Now, it seems that the situation has truly adversely impacted the Koala population.
The worst part? The bushfires are out of control over at Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland beginning September 2019.
Australian Daily Mail reported that as of 21 November, there are currently over 50 fires raging in NSW. On the other hand, 70 fires are raging in Queensland and no news of when it will end.
Koalas Declared ‘Functionally Extinct’ After Australian Bushfires Destroy 80% Of Its Natural Habitat
Needless to say, the fires have destroyed homes belonging to Australia’s beloved koalas.
Many of them have been unable to escape the fires, and although Australians have been scurrying to save the koalas, many still end up black and burnt.
But there’s more bad news.
According to Deborah Tabart, the chairman of the Australian Koala Foundation, at just one particular bushfire, Port Macquarie, 350 koalas have been killed.
Other areas that have been hit hard by bushfires have yet to report the death toll of koalas, but it is understood that there have been many casualties there as well.
The only numbers we have are that 1,000 koalas have been killed due to the bushfires with many more unaccounted for, according to SF Gates.
Koalas Are Now “Functionally Extinct”
There are less than 80,000 koalas in Australia, hence, after the many casualties as a result of the bushfires, koalas are now allegedly “functionally extinct”.
According to Mothership, functional extinction happens when the population of a species declines to a certain point that they can no longer play a significant role in the larger ecosystem.
In simpler words, although some manage to escape the bushfires, they are small in number which will negatively impact survivability.
80% Of Koala’s Natural Habitat Have Been Destroyed
The bushfires have also destroyed a whopping 80% of the koala’s natural habitats.
One important thing that has literally gone up in smoke is the precious eucalyptus trees, which is their main food source.
They are able to grow back, but it takes months which will harm the wild koalas who do survive.
To make matters worse, minimal rain can be expected in the coming years, which means that the natural habitat of the Koala will have trouble recuperating itself.
If you wish to help the koalas which have been injured in the fire, you can go to Port Macquarie Koala Hospital’s Go Fund Me Page to donate.
We hope that the Koalas and their habitats have a speedy recovery.