Connect with us

Animals

Koala Losses “Spectacularly Huge” as Scientists Warn of Local Extinctions Within 30 Years

“It was worse than we thought.”

Elias Marat

Published

on

Koala Australia

(TMU) — Koalas have been significantly impacted due to the summer’s unprecedented bushfire crisis and accompanying drought, prompting warnings from scientists that the beloved marsupial could face extinction in parts of Australia within the next three decades.

The stark warning comes as researchers informed a parliamentary inquiry in New South Wales (NSW) that koala populations are facing “death by a thousand cuts,” especially after the grievous damage wrought by the fires.

Roughly 10,000 koalas are expected to have perished throughout the region, encompassing up to 80 percent of the local population in parts of northern NSW such as Rappville and Wardell, reports ABC.

Dr. Stuart Blanch, a conservation scientist with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), told 7News that the species is “heading towards extinction increasingly.”

Blanch told the parliamentary committee that the estimated deaths have shot far past previous estimates, which numbered the deaths of koalas in NSW at around 8,000. He said:

“What I’ve heard from people doing the surveys is that we might have lost 10,000 koalas from the fires and the droughts.

It’s brought forward a 2050 extinction projected timeline for most of the populations across the state by years.”

Continuing, Dr. Blanch demanded a new statewide census to accurately count the remaining koalas in the region, describing previous estimates of 36,000 in NSW as “outdated.”

“It was worse than we thought,” he added in comments to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The losses have prompted calls from some scientists to change the status of the koalas, who are currently listed by the government as a “vulnerable” population. Ecologist Dr. Steve Phillips of the Biolink consultancy told the Herald:

“The scale of what happened is spectacularly huge, it’s incomprehensible.

Its status needs to be updated to endangered from vulnerable.”

Dr. Kelli Leigh from the Science for Wildlife Charity, which has rescued at least a dozen koalas from the fires, also explained that at least 1,000 koalas have felt the sharp impact of the bushfires in the greater Blue Mountains region alone.

Dr. Leigh explained:

“Four different koala populations that we know of, which have hundreds in each population, have been impacted. Some have had 100 per cent of their habitat burnt out.

[But] we just don’t know what the full impact is yet, because we have to wait until it’s safe to go in, to see what’s survived.”

The historic bushfire season consumed over 12 million acres (5 million hectares) of land until rainstorms and firefighting efforts finally ended the fires earlier this month.

Over a billion animals are estimated to have been killed by the fires along with hundreds of billions of invertebrate creatures.

The massive loss of life constitutes a major blow to biodiversity in a country where 87 percent of wildlife is endemic, meaning it can only be found in Australia.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Animals

Police Rescue Dogs Trapped In Car on Sizzling Hot Day, Owners Complain About Broken Window

Elias Marat

Published

on

Police in the UK acted quickly to save a two dogs locked inside a car in sizzling hot temperatures by smashing open a window, upsetting the car’s owner over the damage.

Officers responded Sunday to reports that a beagle and another dog were trapped in a car parked in the seaside British city of Brighton on a day of boiling heat.

In video captured of the incident, an officer can be seen jamming his baton through a rear window before finally shattering it to free the pooches.

This prompts the car alarm to go off as the car’s owners can be seen rushing toward it, upset over the police intervention.

A woman, standing with her shocked family, says: “You broke my window out!”

One of the officer responded: “It’s a hot day. You shouldn’t be leaving the dog in the car in this weather.”

The incident happened on a day when people across the region flock to the seaside resort city to dip into the beaches amid surging hot temperatures.

The onlooker who filmed the incident noted that the owners seemed unaware of the dangers posed to their pets by weather conditions.

“Where they had parked there is just no shade,” they told The Sun. “It’s directly on the seafront in 25°C (77°F) weather outside – I’ve got no idea what it was inside the car.”

The family was indignant over what they claim was an overreaction by the police.

“At first it was ‘what the f*** are you doing, why did you break my car window? I was only gone for 10 minutes,’” another witness explained.

“The bloke obviously thought he was completely in the right,” they added. “He didn’t really seem to have much empathy.”

According to UK animal welfare group RSPCA, outside temperatures of 22°C (71°F) can reach a brutal 47°C (116.6°F) inside a car within an hour.

“Police officers attended and tried to get a contact number for the owners of the car but were unable,” a Sussex Police spokesperson said. “Officers had no choice but to smash the side window to gain access and a kind member of the public donated a bottle of water.”

Authorities added that the officers let the pet owners off with a stern warning, without ticketing the family or separating their dogs from them.

Continue Reading

Animals

Golden Retriever Filmed Giving Woodchuck Ride Across Massachusetts Lake

Elias Marat

Published

on

There are some occasions when the natural world resembles something we might think belongs to the realm of Disney films but no – it’s simply the animal kingdom in motion.

Such was the case when a dog owner captured amazing footage of her dog giving a ride to a small rodent across a lake in Massachusetts.

Lauren Russel was with her dog, Wally the golden retriever, at Hickory Hills Lake in Lunenburg last month when the dog encountered a woodchuck in the water.

So Wally did one any good dog of his breed would do – he gave his new friend a ride back to shore.

“He was about 100 meters out and a woodchuck, I think, just crawled right up on his back and he swam back to shore with him,” Russell told WCVB on Monday.

She always knew that her Wally was a friendly pooch, but she never imagined something like this.

“We were flabbergasted. It was unbelievable. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing,” Russell continued.

To top things off, once they arrived onshore, Wally and his fast friend gave each other what appeared to be a kiss.

“They like touched snouts and then he ran away,” Russell said.

You can watch the video of the touching event here:

Continue Reading

Animals

Tiny Creature Frozen for 24,000 Years is Brought Back to Life

Elias Marat

Published

on

A microscopic creature has come back to life and reproduced asexually after 24,000 years of lying dormant in the permafrost of Siberia.

Russian scientists found the tiny freshwater creature, called the bdelloid rotifer, in the rich soil of the Alazeya river of Russia’s far northern Siberan region of Yakutia.

The multicellular organism is common throughout the world and is known to be extremely resilient, capable of surviving extreme cold, dryness, starvation and low oxygen.

While previous research found that it could survive a decade when frozen at -20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit), the new study published by the journal Current Biology offers a stunning testimony of the survivability of the tiny animal – which is by far the longest survival period known of any creature in the world.

“Our report is the hardest proof as of today that multicellular animals could withstand tens of thousands of years in cryptobiosis, the state of almost completely arrested metabolism,” said Stas Malavin, an author of the study, in a statement.

Malavin’s Soil Cryology Lab in Pushchino, Russia, used a drilling rig to extract the miniscule organism from roughly a dozen feet below the remote Arctic location.

Once the ancient organism thawed, it reproduced on its own through a process of parthenogenesis. Researchers then found that it could withstand repeatedly being frozen and thawed dozens of times due to its innate processes of cell and organ protection.

“The takeaway is that a multicellular organism can be frozen and stored as such for thousands of years and then return back to life – a dream of many fiction writers,” Malavin said.

“Of course, the more complex the organism, the trickier it is to preserve it alive frozen and, for mammals, it’s not currently possible,” the scientist added. “Yet, moving from a single-celled organism to an organism with a gut and brain, though microscopic, is a big step forward.”

Researchers hope that the knowledge gleaned from studying the microscopic organism will bring further insights on how to preserve animals’ cells, tissues and organs – including those belonging to human beings.

Continue Reading

Trending