Preserve Habitat Instead of Killing Koalas

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Target: Greg Hunt, Environmental Minister of Australia

Goal: Save koala habitat instead of killing diseased animals.

Several koalas may be killed because scientists want to rid the various populations of chlamydia. Yet it is not clear that doing this will solve the problem of koala populations depleting. We need to take action to better ensure these beautiful animals will be allowed to continue thriving in their natural habitat.

Researchers want to cull or kill off 10 percent of the diseased animals each year in particular koala populations. Certain scientists believe that by doing so the numbers of animals will rise. They also feel culling the animals will stop the disease from spreading to other animals.

The disease is caught by a young koala suckling on its mother from inside her pouch. Since all young koalas do this, it cannot be guaranteed that killing off 10 percent of any particular population will make it so the disease is not able to spread. According to researchers, doing this will further not make it so other animals are immune to the disease.

Since koalas are also killed because of several other reasons, including being attacked by dogs, logging and getting run over by cars, opponents of culling  believe that people who are advocating to kill the animals are only trying to get around not being legally allowed to destroy the animals’ habitat through means such as development. They explain that if these people really wanted to help save the koalas, they would focus on saving the animals’ habitat instead, since koalas cannot survive if their habitat is destroyed.

Demand that scientists use treatment methods they already have in place to try and cure the animals of this disease and that they focus on saving koala habitat instead of killing them. Koalas are already a threatened species; if we start culling them now, they will likely soon be endangered.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Hunt,

Many koalas may soon be killed because they have chlamydia. It is not known if killing the diseased animals would solve the potential problem of the chlamydia spreading. Therefore, it is important that we focus on saving their habitat instead if we really want populations to rise.

The plan would allow 10 percent of koalas in different population groups to be culled on a yearly basis. While some people think that doing this will cause population numbers to improve, the findings are not conclusive enough to ensure that other koalas in the population will not get the disease, or to ensure the disease will not spread to other animals. One reason for this is that the disease is caused by young joeys suckling on their mothers. Since all joeys do this, all young koalas are susceptible to catching the disease, rather than just 10 percent of animals living in the population.

Since koalas are also killed by dogs, logging and cars, the main focus should be on trying to save the animals’ habitat, rather than on trying to kill off animals in individual populations. In addition, it is also very possible that people who want the animals to be killed are simply trying to get around not being able to destroy the animals’ habitat by doing things such as logging and building roads.

I therefore urge you to use methods that are already in existence to try and cure the koalas of this disease, rather than kill them. Koalas are already a threatened species. If we start culling them now, they may soon no longer exist.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Madysen Smith

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