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Thursday, 2 September 2010

September is "Save the Koala" month

September is Save the Koala month - please pitch in and help out these endangered little battlers. Buy a sticker (like the one below) and for only a buck, you'll help make a difference. Or make a donation at the Australian Koala Foundation website. Thanks in advance for helping out.

Regular readers are aware of my ongoing support (and that of my company, tmc) for environmental causes, particularly those devoted to animal welfare and habitat preservation. One of the best things about living in Australia is having the chance to enjoy her natural beauty and native wild animals...which makes it all the more alarming that an inconic Aussie animal is under grave threat - and nobody's talking about it.

September is Save the Koala month

On the cute-and-cuddly-scale, koalas do pretty well: easily a 12 out of 10 in most people's estimation, as this video reminds us.

They are not, however, known for their ninja-like speed and ability to fend off threats to their native environment. That's why the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) started the No Tree, No Me campaign to protect koala habitat by promoting public awareness and sustainable development.

According to AKF estimates, in 1788 there were around 10 million koalas ambling around Oz; today less than 1% of that population remains (that's fewer than 100,000 koalas left in Australia). The main reason for the decline is lost of habitat.

Australia has one of the highest land-clearing rates in the world. Since European settlement in Australia, 80% of koala habitat has disappeared. Of the remaining habitat, 80% is on privately owned land. The AKF estimates that as a result of habitat loss around 4,000 koalas are killed each year by dogs and cars alone.

What you can do - buy a sticker/make a donation

tmc supports the ongoing work of the AKF to promote habitat preservation, sustainable development, and the long slow process of getting legislation in place (see below) to protect these beautiful animals.

You can help too - this month if you see a display for the No Tree No Me stickers, buy one - for just a buck you'll help make a difference. Find out more about how to help koalas at the AKF website.

UPDATE: Hung Parliament means koalas left hanging in the balance

While the political squabbles in Canberra continue, the AKF reports:
Last week the Government’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee met and presumably discussed koalas. Because the process is so secretive, we really don’t know this, but the former Government’s Minister Garrett has said that the decision will be made by September 30th. The incoming Government, irrespective of which side wins, should also meet that deadline. There are two options – “vulnerable” which is what the AKF wants, and “conservation dependant”, which appeared out of the blue in Government documents earlier this year. If the latter is chosen then nothing will change and koalas will continue to decline because of State Governments and their inability to protect the koala, which is well documented.

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