OUR SEPTEMBER HERO: THE KOALAS, ONE OF A KIND CREATURE

WHY WE NEED TO PROTECT KOALAS ?

 

“I have no fear of losing my life – if I have to save a koala or a crocodile or a kangaroo or a snake, mate, I will save it.”

-Steve Irwin 

 

The ninth month is usually known to be SAVE A KOALA month, but it shouldn’t be only September, it should be every single month, day and chance we have to protect or save those beautiful animals. If this world is in balance, we wouldn’t need to worry so much about these cute critters and their future but this Planet is everything but not safe for our wildlife and nature, due to the greed and environmental damage caused by people.

The koalas are called bears but they aren’t any kind of bears but marsupials, mammals that could be only found in the eucalyptus forests of eastern Australia. where they live, eat and sleep, almost the 99% of their life. Those adorable faces look so innocent, that their  suffering  or pain make the majority of normal people almost cry. This has been visible through the terrible bushfire in Australia, when many of koalas colonies have been burnt and gone in the madness of fire. One of the biggest and scariest wildlife tragedies that has hit recently our global ecosystem.

Our little friends weigh about 14 kg and they are up to 85 cm long, with grey fur and strong clawed feet, ideal for their way of living, high in the trees, where the eucalyptus is alpha and omega of koala existence. This is how their name has been created, from the old Aboriginal language “no drink”. The indigenous people have observed koalas and noted that they do not drink but the complete diet and moisture  come from consuming the leaves of eucalyptus. According to the researchers of National Geographic, koalas are really unique animals:“Eucalyptus leaves are super tough and poisonous! Luckily for koalas, they have a long digestive organ called a cecum which allows them to break down the leaves unharmed. Koalas don’t have much energy and, when not feasting on leaves, they spend their time dozing in the branches. Believe it or not, they can sleep for up to 18 hours a day!”

Phascolarctos cinereus or koala is an Australian iconic animal. I believe this is one of my greatest reason to go to Australia and stay there forever, especially because in Queensland is a possibility to cuddle koala in almost 14 places. One of them is Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, that is working actively to help injured koalas and to improve their population that is dropping dangerously.  The problem is the lack of koala habitat, because of draught, fires and deforestation. Those sweet animals could only live in such kind of flora and if it is destroyed, the koala population will be also destroyed and depopulated.

The interesting facts about koalas is that their babies are also called joeys, just like kangaroos and they are born blind and without fur, so they jump immediately   in their mum´s pouch and stay  for six months, to be developed enough for going the adult family and the world of eucalyptus. Just as a funny thing, the ordinary koala needs 1 kg of eucalyptus leaves per day. It doesn’t surprise that they like sleeping and relaxing. The digestion of eucalyptus takes some time and humid climate slow them pretty much so 18 hours of the sleep label our koalas as very lazy animals.

Unfortunately, their safety in our world is endangered because of many factors. One of them is loss of habitat and the another one is illegal hunt for their fur, that is good controlled and prevented by rational strategy of Australian government.  The main threat has been 2019-2020 bushfire season that has devastated their colonies and put koalas as one of 113 animals that require urgent institutional, national and international help.  In the times, outside of fire danger, koalas are on the target of their natural enemies, dingos and owls and sometimes attacked also by dogs. Thanks to the advanced wildlife policy of Australia and numerous actions of wildlife hospitals, rescue organisations, volunteers and people who stepped in to help koalas, the issue could be eventually solved or, at least, the conditions of their life and existence could be improved.

There are many options for all of us, to help our koalas. Everyone can do something and together we can achieve everything. Each individual can change the course of their destiny and save them from extinction, before it is too late. It is not always about money but also about education, information and conservation. If you do not have money to adopt virtually one koala, you can support the Koala Protection Act and to urge on Australian politicians to make institutionally strategy for protection of koalas and their habitats.

On the following website, it is enlisted how you can  contribute personally :

https://www.savethekoala.com

If there is a will there is a way too. Those critters are too precious to be forgotten and ignored with all their needs and right to be the part of our environment and the nice inhabitants of our world. I cant accept the fact that some thing cant be changed or that is late. It is never late to change destiny, stop the horror of destruction and lead the humans into another direction, into the world of more compassion, care and love. We wont regret if we pick those timeless feelings and if we choose to love, feel and help one another and the beautiful world around us. The koalas are rare, unique and authentic gifts we have to take care of, to guard and to protects as much as we all can. They may be Australian iconic animal but they are the treasure of the whole world and also the responsibility of the all humans to be saved from being gone. Each of us can save koalas, not only in this month of koalas, in September, but always and everywhere. Think of it, spread the knowledge, inform, educate, learn, love and be compassionate. You are a human that is kind and not only one of a human kind.

2 thoughts on “OUR SEPTEMBER HERO: THE KOALAS, ONE OF A KIND CREATURE

  1. What a beautiful article, Sarah !

    I have always found koalas to be so adorable and so fascinating ! They are so cute and one just feels likes hugging them !

    I totally concur with you in that those precious koalas have to be protected year round and not just in September. It devolves upon us, humans, to protect them and their habitat !

    Thank you, Sarah, for your beautiful writing and for always educating us as to such important topics !

    Like

  2. Sarah’s evocative and relative article reminded me of specific histories of humans and koalas in ancient periods and more recent centuries…

    For millennia, indigenous peoples of Antipodean regions had venerated koalas in myths and rock and cave art, but the same peoples were hunting the marsupial as a food and fur resource, as well.

    In The Dreamtime Tales of indigenous Australian peoples, the koala is represented in various perceptions and expressions. For example, one tribe believed a mythical koala had helped bring their ancestors from Asia to The Antipodes in a giant canoe. Another tribe believed the koala to be sagacious and sought its guidance. Also, another tribe believed a mythical koala had supernatural powers that were able to metamorphose barren and arid topography into fertile forests.

    The estimated population of indigenous peoples in Australia before European contact was about 1 million, and the majority hunted koalas. The population of koalas is unknown, of the same period, but they congregated in coastal areas where aborigines were existing. Thus, koala numbers and natural habitats were affected by them.

    European settlers hunted the koala for its thick and soft fur, mainly. Between 1788-1920s, c. 4 million pelts were exported to Western Europe, to be used as rugs, coat linings, muffs and trimming on female garments.

    In addition, colonial officials authorised culling seasons, as they discerned the koala as a threat to agricultural designs (between 1915-19, 1 million were killed by poisons, guns and traps). Finally, a public outcry arose in large cities, as scientists and ordinary citizens became enraged by the barbaric treatment and near extinction of the marsupial.

    However, drought and The Great Depression resulted in the culling of another 600,000 koalas, in the late-1920s and early-1930s.

    The first successful attempts at protecting and conserving koalas emerged through The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Queensland, but the conservation efforts did not include initiatives to protect natural habitats of koalas, and thus more and more died from loss of habitat, etc.

    Presently, koalas are in serious decline, suffering from the effects of habitat destruction, domestic dog attacks, bushfires and road accidents. The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that there are less than 100,000 koalas left in the wild; possibly, as few as 43,000.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !