Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
If you make a contribution of $150 or more, you will become an official “Friend of the Planet” and receive a Friend of the Planet T-shirt or water bottle. You can also submit opinion essays to us for our consideration for posting on our new “Bright Ideas” op-ed page.
Why This Matters: For Australians, this is a national tragedy, and it painfully demonstrates the link between climate change and biodiversity loss. With extreme weather events caused by climate change, we will increasingly need extraordinary means to deal with the myriad of cascading crises these events cause. According to the World Wildlife Fund, koalas are at risk of extinction already because of loss of forest habitat due to development — their numbers have dropped to fewer than 20,000 in their primary habitat in New South Wales and they could be extinct by 2050. This situation also demonstrates that new rescue capabilities need to be deployed in order to deal with climate change and mitigate its impacts.
According to The Washington Post, some lucky koalas have escaped the fires “with singed ears and burned feet, clinging to rescuers who came to save the already imperiled koalas.” This is reminiscent of the injured wildlife that had to be rescued and nursed back to health after the California fires in 2018.
Conservationists To The Rescue
The Post reported that conservationists have “raced to install water stations for surviving koalas stricken with dehydration.” But the public has been touched by the stories of the dogs that have been able to find them due to special training. CNN told the story of Bear, a border collie-koolie cross that is being deployed in the region with remarkable results.
“IFAW specifically sponsors koala detection dog Bear, but there are other dogs which the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland works with, some of which are trained to sniff for koala droppings, whereas Bear is trained to sniff out koala fur and identify where there are live koalas,” IFAW spokeswoman Clare Sterling told CNN.
To Go Deeper: You can learn more about IFAW’s koala detecting dogs here.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is the global authority when it comes to whether a species is at risk of extinction, yesterday added the North Atlantic Right Whale of the eastern U.S. to its list of Critically Endangered species (elevated from Endangered) that are on the brink of extinction. The IUCN also “upgraded” 13 different species of lemurs to the Critically Endangered list along with 20 other lemur species at risk of imminent extinction.
Why This Matters: These species are on the verge of going extinct not because of anything they did, but rather because of us humans.
We just love a tsunami with a happy ending! The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on St. Simons Island had been rehabilitating Tsunami, an endangered green sea turtle that was hit by a boat in 2017, for years with the hope of setting her free in the ocean. But her injuries were too severe to survive […]
By Will Gartshore, Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It’s an old aphorism that still rings painfully true today. Long before Covid-19, the three deadliest pandemics in human history—the bubonic plague, Spanish influenza and HIV/AIDS—claimed more lives than all the […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.