Australia’s Koalas Need Your Help

Wildfires Tear Through Australia, Endangering Millions of Koalas


Marshal Hedin, used with permission via Wikemedia Commons

An Australian Koala hangs out in a tree on February 4, 2010. Due to the 2019-2020 bushfires which have claimed lives and destroyed over 12 million acres of land as of January 15, 2020, the koalas could become an endangered species.

Abby Joyce, Staff Writer

The three hottest months in Australia are December, January, and February, classified as summer. Record high temperatures have occurred. For over two months much of Australia, particularly New South Wales  has been terrorized by bushfires.  As of Jan. 15, there were a total of 29 lives lost, and roughly 2,204 homes destroyed in Australia, including 20 in New South Wales.

These fires have claimed the lives of individuals, wiped out homes,  destroyed habitats, and displaced, injured, or killed animals. One of the mammals affected by the fires is the koala. Koalas are technically marsupials who raise their offspring in pouches and they have severely suffered. Not only does the physical state of the environment affect the koalas, but due to their food and water sources being compromised, they are unable to obtain the necessary nutrients to survive.

No tree, no me.

— Australian Koala Foundation

Since 1986, under Chairman Deborah Tabart, the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) has been “dedicated to the conservation and effective management of the wild koala and its habitat,” according to their website. Their slogan is “No tree, no me.” Currently in New South Wales alone, 12,800,000 acres have been burned. Therefore, without help, the devastation could pose the threat of future endangerment for the koalas.

On the Australian Koala Foundation’s website, Tabart has a section entitled “Deborah’s Diary,” dedicated to her frightening firsthand observations of the bushfires as they unfold. The issues she capitalizes are opportunities for people to become aware from any part of the world.

One way for people to become involved is to become aware of the political situation in Australia. Many Australians are dissatisfied with the response and the lack of action by leaders. According to “Deborah’s [Tabart’s] Diary,” she wrote that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s and the Minister of the Environment Sussan Ley’s efforts are insufficient. Tabart stated, “Well, sign the Koala Protection Act Minister Ley, because you too have the power to do so, right now.”

Other than paying attention to Tabart’s Diary and social media, another way to help is to give donations. If you are looking to donate to help the koalas, click this link to the Australian Koala Foundation to help these animals. For more hands-on assistance, you could volunteer your time through mission trips or joining The Red Cross. Local officials and volunteers from around the globe, such as American firefighters have offered help at this time.