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Climate change compounds rising threats to koala


knocker

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Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    Australia's iconic marsupial is at risk from shrinking habitats, road traffic and dog attacks – and increasingly, global warming

     

    image%25255B6%25255D.png?imgmax=800

     

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/30/climate-change-threats-koalas

    Isn't that largely due to man-made increases in salinity?

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    Posted
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania

    Koala habitat distribution map: The koala can be found in an area equivalent to the size of 3 United Kingdoms.

     

    phascolarctoscinereushap.gif

    - The koala population is so widespread and numbers are so plentiful enough that it is not nationally or internationaly listed as vulnerable. It is not only found in densely forested gum habitat but in semi arid regions where there is limited tree cover.

    - Populations are vulnerable only locally. This is cheifly due to naturally occuring disease in semi arid areas of Queensland. The major threat to koala habitat in coastal Queensland ( chiefly the built up south east corner ) and parts of coastal New South Wales is due to urbanisation.

    - Local vulnerabilities are dealt with by stringent council and state guidelines which limit development and restrict land use activities.

    - Because there is now a national vulnerability rating for koala populations in NSW and Queensland major development projects have to pass strict federal environmental guidelines aswell, or are canned altogether.

    - Because the koala is a national and international 'icon',  'environmental noise' about the threat to the koala from environmental groups is naturally overplayed. These organisations rely after all on emotional driven sentiment.

    - Climate change has not dramatically altered koala habitat, which covers 600,000square miles thru many different climate zones and forest types. Climate change modelling which I think is what the author means, did predict a warming and drier climate. Since the flooding disasters of 2010-12 modelling is now suggesting warmer weather with yoyo swings between extreme dry and floods. This could increase forest habitat and semi arid survival.

    - Heatwaves have never posed a threat to koalas. Australian summers have always been punctuated with heatwaves. Heatwaves, even more regular ones, would only pose a threat a diseased animals or populations.

    - Koalas have always found a home in town parks and leafy suburbs, and many populations have a well preserved sanctuary here.

     

    -...and lastly the state of Victoria has an over population of koalas which threaten vast swathes of forest on which they feed! The estimated population in this state alone runs into the many tens of thousands.

     

    koalaoverwideimageia071.jpg
    http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2012/10/10/352819_news.html

     

    Tut tut The Guardian!

     

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    Posted
  • Location: North York Moors
  • Location: North York Moors

    Because the koala is a national and international 'icon',  'environmental noise' about the threat to the koala from environmental groups is naturally overplayed. These organisations rely after all on emotional driven sentiment.

    who'd a thunk it.

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    Posted
  • Location: South Yorkshire
  • Location: South Yorkshire

    Because the koala is a national and international 'icon',  'environmental noise' about the threat to the koala from environmental groups is naturally overplayed. These organisations rely after all on emotional driven sentiment.

    who'd a thunk it.

     

    Ignore them - it's all cack.

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    Posted
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary

    Perhaps ye should complain about the University of Queensland study by Dr McAlpine, which the guardian is largely reporting on, or the other statistics from both national and international groups that list them as "threatened", "vulnerable" or "potentially vulnerable".

     

    I hope the irony is not lost on those that thanked 4wd's quote about the "These organistaions rely after all on emotionally driven sentiment"!

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    Posted
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL

    I hope the irony is not lost on those that thanked 4wd's quote about the "These organistaions rely after all on emotionally driven sentiment"!

    The problem there is down to the fact that they do rely on it.

    I agree with the sentiments though.

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    Posted
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary

    The problem there is down to the fact that they do rely on it.

    I agree with the sentiments though.

     

    I agree. When it comes to scientific issues, emotion should be left out as much as possible. When there are genuine lines of evidence and reasoning that result in concern for Koalas, it might be best to show why that evidence is incorrect, rather than dismissing it due to the "emotionally driven sentiment" of some environmental groups.

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    Posted
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL

    The Koala has been under threat for many years. Nothing seems to have changed in that respect and this with support from some of the biggest protection groups. Things like this should come under a UN charter and direct funding. My own feelings on this is that we will lose the Koala in the wild unless something radical is done.

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    Posted
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania

    Perhaps ye should complain about the University of Queensland study by Dr McAlpine, which the guardian is largely reporting on, or the other statistics from both national and international groups that list them as "threatened", "vulnerable" or "potentially vulnerable".

     

    I hope the irony is not lost on those that thanked 4wd's quote about the "These organistaions rely after all on emotionally driven sentiment"!

     

    The study concerns local factors, I mentioned this in my response to the article.

    The article infers that the population of the species is vulnerable in all of its habitat, or it implies it quite heavily. This is simply not true. The koala is abundant, and its home covers three times the size of the United Kingdom.

     

    In the south east of the country, the koala is viewed as a pest species. I gave an example of this by suppling a link to a newspaper article.

     

    If scientific opinion shifts to the contrary, then we have a problem. There is no scientific concenus to even remove the koala from the "not threatened" category. There are many categories below this toward endangerment of extinction.

     

    This same philosophy applies toward  global warming.

     

    There are thousands of other plant and animal species in Australia whose numbers are vulnerable enough to be rated as such. The koala is not one of them! The article is a sensationalist, manipulated beatup.

     

    statusiucn31lcsvg.png

    Wiki

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary

     

    The study concerns local factors, I mentioned this in my response to the article.

    The article infers that the population of the species is vulnerable in all of its habitat, or it implies it quite heavily. This is simply not true. The koala is abundant, and its home covers three times the size of the United Kingdom.

     

    In the south east of the country, the koala is viewed as a pest species. I gave an example of this by suppling a link to a newspaper article.

     

    If scientific opinion shifts to the contrary, then we have a problem. There is no scientific concenus to even remove the koala from the "not threatened" category. There are many categories below this toward endangerment of extinction.

     

    This same philosophy applies toward  global warming.

     

    There are thousands of other plant and animal species in Australia whose numbers are vulnerable enough to be rated as such. The koala is not one of them! The article is a sensationalist, manipulated beatup.

     

    statusiucn31lcsvg.png

    Wiki

     

     

    Is the Guardian just making these up?

    In the past 20 years, the koala population has significantly declined, dropping by 40 percent in the state of Queensland and by a third in New South Wales (NSW).

     

    The Australian Government last year listed the koala as "vulnerable" under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999 on the recommendation of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

     

    The koalas are highly susceptible to heat stress and dehydration," University of Queensland koala expert Dr. Clive McAlpine told IPS.

    "Our climate envelope modelling found that koalas occur at a maximum temperature of 37.7 degrees centigrade. Across western Queensland and New South Wales, temperatures remained in the mid to high 40-degree centigrade (range) for consecutive days, pushing them beyond their climatic threshold."

     

     

    Queensland and NSW constitute the vast majority of thier habitat, no? Abundant is quite a subjective term, so might there still have been a significant decline in their population in general, but still have enough for some to call them abundant?

     

    To be honest, I don't really care what happens with the Koalas. But when see scientific work simply dismissed out of hand, I tend to step in and ask "why?". If you could point me towards a couple of studies or links that show the Guardian stuff was nonsense, I'd appreciate thatgood.gif

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    Posted
  • Location: South Yorkshire
  • Location: South Yorkshire

     

     

    To be honest, I don't really care what happens with the Koalas. But when see scientific work simply dismissed out of hand, I tend to step in and ask "why?". If you could point me towards a couple of studies or links that show the Guardian stuff was nonsense, I'd appreciate that

     

    Koalas are cute and cuddly and make a great vehicle for advertising AGW to the soft-headed. But as you say, I don't care much for them, either. So why anyone's getting bothered is beyond me.

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    Posted
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania

    Is the Guardian just making these up?

    In the past 20 years, the koala population has significantly declined, dropping by 40 percent in the state of Queensland and by a third in New South Wales (NSW).

     

    The Australian Government last year listed the koala as "vulnerable" under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999 on the recommendation of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

     

    The koalas are highly susceptible to heat stress and dehydration," University of Queensland koala expert Dr. Clive McAlpine told IPS.

    "Our climate envelope modelling found that koalas occur at a maximum temperature of 37.7 degrees centigrade. Across western Queensland and New South Wales, temperatures remained in the mid to high 40-degree centigrade (range) for consecutive days, pushing them beyond their climatic threshold."

     

     

    Queensland and NSW constitute the vast majority of thier habitat, no? Abundant is quite a subjective term, so might there still have been a significant decline in their population in general, but still have enough for some to call them abundant?

     

    To be honest, I don't really care what happens with the Koalas. But when see scientific work simply dismissed out of hand, I tend to step in and ask "why?". If you could point me towards a couple of studies or links that show the Guardian stuff was nonsense, I'd appreciate thatgood.gif

     

    I don't question the individual science report mentioned in the aricle specifically, just the way the piece was written, extrapolating local studies to infer a demise of an entire species. It is not just bad journalism we are dealing here  but stark mistruths, symptomatic of publications like this who find no problem in stretching credibility in the name of pursuing an ideological agenda, at all cost.  My bugbear is about the truth. It implies an entire species is threatened by a whole range of factors, giving prominence to climate change, when most of these factors mentioned only come into play when local/regional population numbers reach a critical threshold in the first place. Hence the IUCN scale and the like.  The vulnerability rating for two states is due to regional population declines only - within these two states. A statewide listing says nothing about the species survival rates, whether there are notable % declines or not.  Species populations are never stable and in many cases human interference plays no part in this. We are talking about very big places with very big numbers, most habitats are in total undisturbed areas of all time ( national parks ). Within these two states, koala population in some regions show no signs of stress from any factor. What does climate change and heatwaves got to do with this species survival? This is a nonsence. It simply is a projection of a future threat, and that was actually mentioned someway into the article after a bit of a fantasy ride into it,  but these factors would only be detrimental once the koala numbers were to become critical.

     

    Is the koala endangered as The Guardian implied ? What does the IUPC say?

    http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/16892/0

     

    This is also a good refutation of the article. It is simply an opinion piece. But it says it in a better way than I have the ability or time to do it

    http://hauntingthelibrary.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/more-classic-guardian-spin-koalas-threatened-by-global-warming-development/

     

    I don't dismiss AGW science by the way,  not at all. But articles like this don't help the cause, they turn people either into jelly brained lemmings, or worse still, make people question every reputable scientific report ...and where will that end up getting us, this face turn away from science? Its is going to create a preety dangerous global warming and environmental protection hereticism that we have not witnessed before. Every such report like this must put its theme into context.

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    Posted
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary

    I don't question the individual science report mentioned in the aricle specifically, just the way the piece was written, extrapolating local studies to infer a demise of an entire species. It is not just bad journalism we are dealing here  but stark mistruths, symptomatic of publications like this who find no problem in stretching credibility in the name of pursuing an ideological agenda, at all cost.  My bugbear is about the truth. It implies an entire species is threatened by a whole range of factors, giving prominence to climate change, when most of these factors mentioned only come into play when local/regional population numbers reach a critical threshold in the first place. Hence the IUCN scale and the like.  The vulnerability rating for two states is due to regional population declines only - within these two states. A statewide listing says nothing about the species survival rates, whether there are notable % declines or not.  Species populations are never stable and in many cases human interference plays no part in this. We are talking about very big places with very big numbers, most habitats are in total undisturbed areas of all time ( national parks ). Within these two states, koala population in some regions show no signs of stress from any factor. What does climate change and heatwaves got to do with this species survival? This is a nonsence. It simply is a projection of a future threat, and that was actually mentioned someway into the article after a bit of a fantasy ride into it,  but these factors would only be detrimental once the koala numbers were to become critical.

     

    Is the koala endangered as The Guardian implied ? What does the IUPC say?

    http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/16892/0

     

    This is also a good refutation of the article. It is simply an opinion piece. But it says it in a better way than I have the ability or time to do it

    http://hauntingthelibrary.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/more-classic-guardian-spin-koalas-threatened-by-global-warming-development/

     

    I don't dismiss AGW science by the way,  not at all. But articles like this don't help the cause, they turn people either into jelly brained lemmings, or worse still, make people question every reputable scientific report ...and where will that end up getting us, this face turn away from science? Its is going to create a preety dangerous global warming and environmental protection hereticism that we have not witnessed before. Every such report like this must put its theme into context.

     

    I'm sorry, but that opinion piece is one of the greatest pieces of conservative drivel I've read in a while, and participating in the climate change area, believe me when I say I read a lot of them! Also, it doesn't deny or debunk that the koalas are vulnerable, it just pushes the focus on STDs as the cause instead.

     

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure if the population of another species had declined rapidly across most of it's habitat, they'd be put on a "vulnerable" list too, even if it just vulnerable in specific regions.

     

    I agree that the guardian exaggeration the risk posed to koalas, and focused too much on climate change, when things like habitat destruction destruction should have taken precedent. They did not though mention AGW, and they backed up their assertions with the opinions of scientific experts at least.

    I thought the threat of heatwaves was made quite clear. The Koalas begin to struggle at temperatures above 37.7C, so with the large and intense heatwaves in recent years with temperatures remaining above 40C for many consecutive days, the Koalas may struggle to survive.

    There isn't an AGW cause, just scientific reality. If someone is going to question every reputable scientific report because of exaggeration from a newpaper article, I'm pretty sure sure they would have turned against science a long time ago!

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    Posted
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania

    All mammals suffer heatstress during mid summer heatwave events. That includes us humans.  But the individuals that can't cope are often always the chronically ill and aged. An extra few days of high temperatures during the year will not result in a situation where healthy koalas start to drop out of the trees dead. It is important to remember that koala has habitat in different climatic zones in Australia where heatwaves differ in intensity and duration and where average summer temperature varies considerably. Only threat would be to colonies where koala was critically endangered , where individuals were susceptible in the first instance.  I am sure the scientist has been misquoted or misinterpreted.

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    Posted
  • Location: South Yorkshire
  • Location: South Yorkshire

     

     

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure if the population of another species had declined rapidly across most of it's habitat, they'd be put on a "vulnerable" list too, even if it just vulnerable in specific regions.

     

     

     

    Only the cute ones with squidgy faces. Ugly,bad tempered ones won't get a mention.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    IMHO, the folks who repeatedly peddle these 'cute little cuddly animal' stories must be living in the 1960s...Of course human activities (unless you are a rat) have deleterious effects on ecosystems; but pictures of 'distressed ewoks' don't win scientific arguments: if they do anything at all, it's to put people's backs up...

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