Melbourne, Australia – One would think that colas are easy to find and count. They are big. They are fluffy. They are mostly immobile because they get about 20 hours of sleep a day.
Desley Wisen, a wildlife ecologist at Deakin University in Victoria, said: “The fact that they do not move much makes it difficult to find them.
It does Australian The government’s attempt to count the population of indigenous marsupials and record where they live is very threatening. In November, the government announced it would provide $ 2 million ($ 1.5 million) to fund the species census and use new methods to do so.
When the count begins, heat-seeking drones, sound probes and detection dogs will stop. Individuals will wear hiking boots and go out to Bush for some cola spotting. Many will look for cola drops.
Estimates of the Koala population vary greatly historically. In 2016, scientists estimated that there was More than 300,000 colas in Australia. In mid-2019, the Australian Cola Foundation estimates it Less than 80,000 are staying in the country, and that number could rise to 43,000, he said. Concerns and confusion over the number of koalas intensified during Australia’s devastating Bushfire last year News articles on animals being “functionally extinct”. But scientists have challenged the accuracy of that description.
A study commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund An estimated 61,000 koalas were killed, injured or displaced in a wildfire last summer.
Even before the Bushfires Extinct cola populationS, the fear that the animals were in trouble was growing. Scientists and conservation organizations say the loss of habitat due to land destruction is sending more and more colas to urban areas – and Occasionally people are inside the Christmas trees – There they will be flattened by cars and attacked by dogs. Experts say that the population of depressed colas is also more prone to deadly diseases.
The last national census, conducted in 2012, asked scientists to estimate the number in some regions, which led to an estimate of 33,000 to 153,000 per state.
“For all our focus on colas, scientists tell us where people really are, how they progress and the best ways to help them recover after catastrophic bushfires,” said Federal Environment Minister Susan Lay. In a statement At the time of announcement.
The traditional method of counting colas is to see how many people can find them. But when there are a lot of marsupials in the trees, they are easy to miss with the naked eye when they are quiet and obscured by the canopy, Dr. Wisen said. The number will vary from person to person and from situation to situation, so that system can be anywhere from 20 percent to 80 percent of the actual population of any one place.
“Personally for me, I see more colas in the morning than in the afternoon,” he said. “By the afternoon, you may be a little tired, your eyes may be a little tired, you want to go home, so you can rush it a little.”
Since this is Australia, an attempt to count colas within the bush would mean combating snakes or various creeping-crawling bites, thus making it difficult to focus.
“All sorts of things take away from your mind what you are looking for, and you can change the probability of seeing a cola,” Dr. Wisen said.
So the scientists decided to use some other methods. Cola droplets – small brown particles – are found at the base of trees and can determine if they live in an area. Detection dogs can detect both colas and their droplets. The male colossus bellows during the breeding season, so scientists may leave recording devices on sites to find out if colas are around.
Colas in remote or inaccessible places can be calculated using heat-seeking drones, but only in colder climates because animal fur provides a lot of insulation and they do not provide much heat.
If all of those methods are used together and used well, a figure with a margin error of 10 percent can be accomplished, Dr. Wisen said.
A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Ms Lay said a national workshop for cola experts would be held next year to determine the best way to conduct the count. “The audit will take a few months from there, depending on the size of the issues identified and the strategies identified,” the spokesman added.
Dr Wisen stressed that Australian authorities could not wait for audit results to address the declining population problem. There is already a lot of information to show that the number of cola is declining in some parts of the country, he said.
“If it takes a few years to produce the figure, we will see the numbers continue to decline during that time,” he warned.
In fact, 23 security teams Requested in an open letter last week “Colas needs more than a census” is what the government does more about habitat protection. “The degradation of the Kola habitat has increased under your government and is continuing now,” the letter addressed the Environment Minister. “The Colas can’t wait for a national number to reveal their numbers. They’re on the verge of screaming now.”
Driving home in a hurry, Rebecca Keeble, Oceania Regional Director for the International Animal Welfare Fund, was quoted as saying, “Counting colas is like counting deck chairs when sinking on the Titanic.”
Some security groups are already taking the matter into their own hands.
The Eastern Wildlife Fund aims to double the cola population in eastern Australia, using drones to recreate tens of thousands of eucalyptus tree seeds that were destroyed by bushfires (koalas eat eucalyptus leaves and use trees as shelter) and create a fund to create cola shelters.
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