A Silver Lining for Australia’s Depleting Koala Population

Koala Population

An organized effort to fight the acute water scarcity in the world has resulted in meticulous studies with varied solutions to mitigate this global crisis. From particular to general and from general to specifics. The impact of the world water crisis is chain-like seeping through the entire ecological system and disturbing existence. If the decreasing Koala population of Australia is anything to go by, we will as a planet soon succumb to depleting resources and a collective fight for survival.

Koalas form an integral part of the Australian ecosystem, and subsequently the world. Their population has declined by 42 percent in New South Wales and Queensland according to the projection of the Australian Department of Environment. The main source of hydrating sustenance for Koalas has been traditionally known to be leaves. A recent study, however, shows that due to deforestation, infringement of their natural habitat, drastic climatic changes, and reduced water content in leaves, Koalas have become susceptible.

This study also alternately dangled the light at the end of the tunnel for despairing conservationists and environment crusaders. Drinking stations! Koalas use artificial drinking stations to compensate for the lack of hydration from leaves, a far cry from the lushness they had at their disposal. This study conducted by Dr. Valentina Mella and colleagues at the University of Sydney restores hope for other species like gliders and possums in Australia and sloths, lemurs and some monkeys on other continents.

Dr. Mella has been working extensively for the conservation of the Koala population of Australia, prompting initiatives and campaigns to save the species from extinction. Koala visits to the drinking stations have multiplied over the years and found to be stomped more often during drier periods. The flipside, though, is the possible appearance of predators that could pose a serious threat. The team is working on developed drinking stations that are inaccessible to ground-based predators.