Tag Archives: Loren Elliott

From disease to wildfires, Australia’s iconic koala faces a bleak future | Wider Image | Instant News


At work, Morgan Philpott (pictured below) looks after sick children. During her recess hours, the Australian pediatrician turns her attention to an equally defenseless group: the unhealthy koalas.

. Kurrajong, Australia. Reuters / Loren Elliott

Philpott collects leaves to give to koalas in rehabilitation.

“They are really at risk of extinction in our lifetime,” Philpott said of the New South Wales koala population at a veterinary hospital on the outskirts of Sydney while helping vets treat rescued koalas infected with the bacterial chlamydia disease.

. Sydney, Australia. Reuters / Loren Elliott

A sick koala named Wally, rescued by WIRES, is being treated at the University of Sydney Animal Education Hospital.

Widespread infection among koalas, raging forest fires, drought, deforestation and encroachment of urban habitats are some of the many destructive forces that continue to threaten their survival. This power, a government report warned in June, could make Australia’s symbolic animal extinct in New South Wales – the country’s most populous state – by 2050.

“If the areas that did not burn last year burnt this year, it will be catastrophic,” said Philpott, who joins the country’s largest animal rescue agency, Information Services, Rescue and Wildlife Education, or WIRES, at his urging. her daughter.

“Future fires could mean the end of them.”

. Jenolan, AUSTRALIA. Reuters / Loren Elliott

Burnt tree bark is seen in forested areas, in habitat for koalas damaged in forest fires, in Kanangra-Boyd National Park, in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

The country’s worst summer wildfires in a generation scorched more than 11.2 million hectares (27.7 million acres), nearly half the size of Great Britain, pushing a tree-hugging gray marsupial into the center of national conversation and political issues. a warm one.

In New South Wales, at least 5,000 koalas died in fires that burned 80% of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and 24% of koala habitat on public land, said a June government report.

As the summer comes, koalas face the threat of more wildfires, although forecasters expect months to be wetter and cooler than the previous year.

. Jenolan, Australia. Reuters / Loren Elliott

Research scientist Dr. Victoria Inman and Dr. Kellie Leigh, releasing the koalas named Pele and Joey back into their natural habitat, after a team from Science for Wildlife, caught them briefly to do Pele’s radio collar maintenance and assess him and Joey’s health.

A new state law seeks to limit farmers’ ability to clear land deemed important for koala habitat, sparking political clashes between urban conservationists and forest people who want to manage their own property.

“The rate of tree cutting and habitat loss is behind all the other factors threatening them in developing areas which includes domestic dog attacks and vehicle attacks,” said Kellie Leigh, head of Science for Wildlife, a non-profit conservation organization, before releasing mother koalas and joey. to a charred tree growing in a green ditch in Kanangra-Boyd National Park, about 200 km (124 miles) west of Sydney.

The release is part of his research, the Blue Mountains Koala Project, on koala recovery in areas ravaged by forest fires.

. Kurrajong Heights, Australia. Reuters / Loren Elliott

The houses stand near the foothills of the Blue Mountains on the outskirts of Sydney, an area where koalas are threatened by land clearing and urban expansion, visible from Kurrajong Heights.

Koala conservationists, who blame climate change for the majority of wildfires, are also focusing on cities as population growth in a metropolitan city like Sydney drives demand to clear forests and make way for homes. Traffic safety signs have appeared now on the outskirts of the developed city warning of the risk of koalas crossing the road.

. Wedderburn, Australia. Reuters / Loren Elliott

Tracey cares for koala twins Joey, who have been diagnosed with underweight, and their mother, Gladys, who was rescued from an area where urban development is disturbing koala habitat, in a rehabilitation pen next to her home.

“There needs to be a balance to ensure that these species survive,” said Tracey, a WIRES volunteer, who asked not to give her last name, as she fed mother and twins joeys eucalyptus leaves in a rehabilitation pen next to her home.

MARIKA KOCHIASHVILI PHOTO EDITING; WRITING BY BYRON KAYE; SHRI NAVARATNAM EDITING TEXT; JULIA DALRYMPLE LAYOUT

.



image source