• IASbaba
  • February 16, 2022
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Part of: Prelims and GS-III Environment 

Context: Recently, Australia has classified Koalas as ‘endangered’ after widespread bushfires, drought and land clearing destroyed much of their eucalyptus-rich habitat.

About Koalas

  • A koala or koala bear is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. 
    • Being marsupials, koalas give birth to underdeveloped young that crawl into their mothers’ pouches, where they stay for the first six to seven months of their lives. 
  • It is easily recognisable by its stout, tailless body.
  • According to fossil records, Koala species have inhabited parts of Australia for at least 25 million years. 
    • But today, only one species remains i.e., the Phascolarctos cinereus. 
  • They were classified as “vulnerable” only in 2012.
  • They inhabit open Eucalyptus woodland, the leaves of these trees make up most of their diet.
  • Another major threat to Koala population is the spread of chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease known to cause blindness and cysts in the koalas reproductive tract.

News Source: IE

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