Last updated at 16:02 GMT, Thursday, 23 February 2012

Calls to protect Australia's koalas

Summary

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.

Reporter
Phil Mercer

Koalas

Conservationists estimate there are about 100,000 koalas in the wild

Listen

Click to hear the report

Report

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.

Listen

Click to hear the vocabulary

Vocabulary

conservationists

people who take an active part in the protection of the environment

estimate

roughly calculate

threats

things that could have a negative impact

infertility

not being able to produce babies

eating away at

steadily removing

endangered

at risk of dying out

furry

covered with fur

panel

group of specialists

in trouble

facing difficulty

Latest reports

  1. Home
  2. Grammar, Vocabulary & Pronunciation
  3. Words in the News
  4. Calls to protect Australia's koalas