Save the Koalas!

Emma B.

    According to the South China Morning Post, over one billion animals have died in the Australian bushfires. 26 people have died and thousands of homes have been destroyed. More importantly for environmentalists globally, the already-dwindling koala population took a hard hit. The koalas exist exclusively in Australia and will go extinct if no action is taken. Before the fires, there were 80,000 koalas. Now, over 30% have been killed by the ravaging fires. That means that 24,000 have been killed and there are about 56,000 left. The koalas are in danger, and something needs to be done.

Many activists are calling for the remaining koalas to be sent to New Zealand, where a little under 116 square miles of land similar to Australian woodland where the koalas could stay. A petition to make this move is gaining momentum, but it is very risky to introduce new species to an unfamiliar environment. Koalas may face even more challenges adjusting to a new environment than in the fires. Supporters of moving the koalas argue that the koalas would be safer in New Zealand because it is so similar to the Australian terrain.

Other organizations are trying to save the koalas and keep them in Australia. At Wantagh Middle School, our Eco Warriors Club raised money for one of these organizations, The Australian Koala Foundation. The Eco Warriors sold koala pencil holders with lollipops, and they donated all of  the proceeds to the Australian Koala Foundation. The koalas were a hit, and over $350 were raised for the koalas. Students Riley S. and Sadie M. in seventh grade were very active in raising money for the koalas.

The koalas are in danger of extinction because of the brushfires, but you can do your part to save them. Thank you to all students and staff who bought a koala pencil holder to help the koalas recover from these devastating fires.