Image of the Day: Koalas Listed as Threatened Species
Iconic koalas in parts of Australia have been listed for the first time as a threatened species, due to the combined threats of habitat loss, disease and climate change, Australian government officials said. According to The Guardian newspaper, koala populations were hunted to near extinction for their fur in parts of Australia, although populations have rebounded somewhat. But another problem for the koalas includes a limited supply of their main food source, eucalyptus, which has been cleared to make way for urban development. Also, the remaining eucalyptus’ nutritional value has declined as the amount of carbon dioxide has increased in the atmosphere and led to global warming. These factors and more led the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to list the koala as one of the 10 most vulnerable species in the world to climate change.
Credit: Gerry Ellis/Corbis