23 February 2012
The Australian government has been urged to add the Koala to its list of nationally threatened species. Conservationists worry that the animal is heading towards extinction because of disease, climate change and a loss of habitat.
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The number of koalas in Australia is unclear but conservationists estimate there are about 100,000 in the wild. They believe that the population is continuing to fall because of various threats, including a disease that causes blindness and infertility. The building of homes and roads is also eating away at their habitat.
The Australian government is being urged to declare the koala a threatened or endangered animal. This would give federal authorities the power to protect these furry marsupials from development.
The Environment Minister Tony Burke has asked a panel of experts for more information detailing areas where koala populations are in trouble. He is expected to make a final decision in the next couple of months.
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people who take an active part in the protection of the environment
things that could have a negative impact
not being able to produce babies
- eating away at
at risk of dying out
covered with fur
group of specialists
- in trouble