August 16, 2022

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Colas endangered: Australia warns! – News Abroad

Canberra – They have loyal dark eyes, a distinctive black nose and fluffy gray fur-colas. But if marsupials are not better protected now, their species are less likely to survive. Causes: Drought, shrub fire and loss of habitat.

Now the Australian government is reacting! In the states of New South Wales and Queensland, as well as in the Australian capital area with the capital Canberra, the extinction of colas has officially improved from “vulnerable” to “endangered”. Environment Minister Susan Lay made the announcement on Friday.


In January 2020, wildlife rescuer Simon Adamsik carried an injured cola out of a burning forest.Photo: David Marius / dpa

More than 60,000 of the fungi that eat only eucalyptus leaves are estimated to have been killed, injured, or traumatized by a devastating bushfire from August 2019 to March 2020 – or had to leave their habitat.

Images of animals with singing fur and burnt feet went around the world. Moreover, in many parts of the country the population has been steadily declining for more than 20 years.

Officials want to invest 50 million Australian dollars (31 million euros) to save their national animal. “We are taking unprecedented action to protect Cola,” Lay said. “We work with scientists, medical researchers, veterinarians, communities, states, local governments and indigenous peoples.”

According to the International Animal Welfare Fund (IFAW), an animal welfare organization, the reason for improving safety status is the evaluation of two studies. The cola population in tropical Queensland has fallen by at least 50 percent since 2001 and the colas in New South Wales are threatened with extinction.

Stock at risk for a long time

So it’s high time! “The decision to improve the security situation is urgent now,” said Rebecca Keeble, IFAW Oceania Regional Director. In their opinion, the measures should have been taken much earlier.

Keeble said the cola situation should be a wake-up call to Australia and encourage the government to expedite its efforts. “Important habitats must be protected from growth and deforestation, and the impacts of climate change must be seriously monitored.”

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Cola (Phascolarctos cinereus) is a marsupial that sleeps on trees most of the day and eats only eucalyptus leaves. These are actually toxic. But: Animal digestive system neutralizes toxins in plants.

There are a maximum of 100,000 colas in the wild, according to the Australian Cola Foundation, which says “but not more than 43,000.”

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