Australia’s endangered symbol: Cola threatens to end
The government has added cola to its list of endangered species. Probably the most iconic animal on the Fifth Continent, it suffers from the effects of shrinking habitats.
The Australian “Teddy Bear” is pathetic. The koala, not the bear, but the marsupial – like the kangaroo – has not been affected by migration from its traditional habitat in the East Coast forests. The effects of global warming, the risk of catastrophic bushfires and the spread of the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia have drastically reduced the population of Cola in recent years.
Now the national government wants to ensure the survival of this well-known species by classifying cola as “vulnerable” in the Australian capital area around Queensland, New South Wales and Canberra. According to Environment Minister Susan Leigh, increased risk should make animal protection a higher priority.
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The politician says about 180,000 koalas still live on the east coast, according to estimates by the state research agency CSIRO. He told Australian Radio on Friday that the government had not set any targets to increase the Kola population. On the other hand, he wants to create a “vulnerable” population to deal with future natural disasters.
Environmental groups, which have been warning of the extinction of colas for years, welcomed the move as “necessary” but also criticized it. Cola Foundation spokesman Lane described the number as “nonsense.” Nationwide, the population of wild koalas is still estimated at 50,000 to 80,000.
Last year, a study by the state of New South Wales concluded that the cola habitat would be extinct by 2050 if it continues at its current rate. WWF Australia spokesman Stuart Blanche warned on Friday that raising the danger level would not prevent the animals from becoming extinct “as long as there are more stringent laws for landowners to protect forest areas.” According to the Australian Conservation Trust, the Department of the Environment, currently headed by Susan Lay, has authorized the cutting of more than 25,000 hectares of cola habitat over the past decade.
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