The Australian bush fires ravaged the wilderness for over 200 days. In that time, it burned away 45 million acres of land and life itself. According to the IFAW, a minimum of 5,000 Koalas were killed by the fire, which is 12% of their population.
However, this is an extremely conservative estimate. The damage to the population could be as high as 66%.
While the immediate loss of life is a big factor, the one that will be the most destructive is their loss of habitat. The area’s that the fires passed through are nothing but ash now. They are no longer suitable homes for the Koalas and other animals that were lucky enough to escape.
Instead, these animals are now displaced and need to find new homes, which will be a huge struggle.
Koalas Are Very Susceptible to Bush Fires
Koalas are known for many things, but speed is not one of them. They are simply not fast enough to outrun a bushfire. And even if they can manage to outrun the fire, they cannot sustain that speed.
Once they stop to take a breath, the fire catches up.
What makes matter worse is that Koalas live in the treetops of the Eucalyptus tree. These trees burn extremely quickly, which gives the Koalas even less time to escape the blazes.
Many of them did not even manage to escape their homes.
And with the likelihood of bush fires in Australia to increase by 30%, Koalas do not have a bright future ahead.
Change Koala Status to Endangered
The report found enough evidence to conclude that the status of Koalas should change from Vulnerable to Endangered in light of this information.
This will help ensure that more measures are taken to protect the Koala population from going extinct. Acting fast is the best measure that can be taken.
If you would like to help, you can sign up on IFAW to support the request for the status change.