Monday, January 30, 2017

Koalas Get A Helping Hand from Genetics

The endangered Queensland koalas have been getting help from researchers at the National Environmental Research Program Environmental Decisions Hub (NERPED) which have conducted experiments which analyzed their genetic patterns. Their results concluded that the right balance of tree cover and roads is the key to protecting these animals from urban growth. For example, in areas where tree cover falls below 30 percent, the genetic variability drops significantly, as with areas containing major highways. In order to maintain their genetic diversity, koalas must leave the trees to find a mate. This poses huge risks to these animals as civilization expands into their natural habitat.
Koalas are an Australian icon and therefore will always have plenty of support when it comes to their safety. The part of this article that I was drawn to the most were the organizations' suggestions, which included habitat bridges and underpasses beneath highways. These are great suggestions and I believe that they could absolutely help the koalas cross roadways to reduce the number of individuals struck by automobiles.

The original article can be found here.
A link to the Australian Koala Foundation can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. That made my heart hurt thinking of koala roadkill! So, I do agree their suggestions would be very helpful to the species, however, if the levels of endangerment are so concerning maybe there needs to be a preserve set up for the animals, rather than continuing to build into their habitats.