Drought, bush fires, land-clearing and habitat loss have drastically reduced the numbers of an animal that is an emblem of Australia’s unique wildlife (source: Unsplash).
Koalas have been declared an endangered species in Australia, the latest urgent sign that we need to unite to care for God’s creation.
Take action for koalas: Sign the Healthy Planet, Healthy People petition.
The status change came two years after a parliamentary inquiry predicted that koalas could be extinct by 2050 without urgent government intervention.
Koala numbers have dropped dramatically in recent years, due to the worsening climate crisis and land-clearing for agricultural and urban development. Their plight gained global attention in 2019 when bush fires raged over millions of acres in Australia, destroying its habitat and killing or injuring 60,000–along with 3 billion other animals–according to a report commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund-Australia. According to a BBC article, global warming boosted the risk of the conditions for these fires by 30%. If global temperatures rise by 2C, such conditions would occur at least four times more often.
Despite koalas’ status change and the commitment of US$35.7 million to the problem, advocates worry that key problems, including land clearing, deforestation and habitat loss— are being ignored as the Australian government continues to approve the destruction of the koala habitat. “If the clearing of the koala habitat continues,” Ms. Tabart told The New York Times, “a further status change is imminent — from endangered to extinct.”
“Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right” (LS 33).
Keep the koalas from joining the one million species that are predicted to become extinct–many within decades. All people have an urgent opportunity to care for God’s creation by signing the Healthy Planet, Healthy People petition.
Photo:Splendid Poison Frog-extinct 2020.webp caption: The Splendid Poison Frog, extinct in 2020, was a species of poison dart frog endemic to western Panama.
At the UN’s Biodiversity Conference later this year in China, world leaders will come together to set ambitious targets that protect our common home. Speak up for the most vulnerable members of God’s creation and our entire common home: Sign the Healthy Planet, Healthy People petition.