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Australian Wildfires Push Koalas to Edge of Extinction | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife

Clinging to life: The Australian wildfires have claimed the lives of an estimated 1 billion animals, among them the nation’s iconic koalas. The fires are just the latest human-caused menace threatening their existence: Overhunting for their pelts and habitat destruction through deforestation have already ravaged their population, which has plummeted by a shocking 95 percent since the late 18th century. Now, after the devastation wrought by the current wildfires season, experts warns that koalas are in danger of going extinct unless new government policies are implemented to save them. (Photo credit: Ninian Reid/Flickr)

Change: The horrific images of burnt and dying koalas from the recent bushfires all over the east coast of Australia have underlined a tragic reality: Koalas are in danger of becoming extinct. As the nation experiences record-breaking drought and bushfires, koala populations have shrunk along with their natural habitat. A third of koalas in Australia’s New South Wales region may have been killed in the deadly bushfires, but deforestation has meant that the koalas were already under threat before the fires. Koalas only live in Australia and rely on eucalyptus trees to survive. But these trees, which are the koalas’ only food source, are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Shockingly, koalas are in peril but are yet to be listed as an endangered species by the government. Koala populations in the states of New South Wales and Queensland fell 42 percent between 1990 and 2010, according to the Commonwealth Scientific Committee. Some experts say there will be no Koalas left by 2050.
>>>Urge the Australian government to immediately list the koala as an endangered species so that they can receive the support they need to survive.

The Rainforest Site: Pigeon shoots have been banned in every part of the country except for the state of Pennsylvania, In 2014, a bill to end pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania was allowed to expire after the NRA stepped in at the 11th hour with their powerful lobbyists—though 75 percent Pennsylvanians are in favor of a law that would ban this inhumane “sport” and 83 percent believe it’s an unnecessary form of animal cruelty. “After each round of shots at the birds, participants—sometimes children—take to the field to collect wounded and dead animals,” according to the Humane Society of the United States. “If the suffering pigeon is still alive, the collector will sometimes snap the animal’s head off or slam her against the ground before tossing her into a barrel full of dead and dying pigeons.” Many of these birds are not even from Pennsylvania. Footage of people netting and stealing pigeons in New York City is believed to point to an illegal smuggling ring that transports the birds over state lines to provide the live targets for the merciless shoots.
>>>Urge Pennsylvania lawmakers to ban pigeon shoots.

Lady Freethinker: In Agadir, Morocco, authorities are dumping street dogs in a hellish “pound” without access to any food or water. Left to starve, the desperate dogs have started to turn on one other, attacking and eating the weakest among them just to stay alive. In the dusty, bare compound, the ground is piled high with feces. Without vaccinations, healthcare or a sterilization program, sick dogs are giving birth to puppies in these appalling conditions. They have no chance of survival. Volunteers from Morocco Animal Aid (MAA) are doing everything possible to help these emaciated, dying animals. However, authorities are denying that these horrors are even happening and actively refusing MAA access to the site. In spite of restrictions, the charity rescues the sickest dogs when they can, but are already overloaded. When they are allowed access, they fill up water containers and clean up piles of filth, but it’s not enough.
>>>Tell Ambassador of Morocco to the U.S. Lalla Joumala Alaoui to urge the Moroccan government to save these dogs and develop more humane ways to deal with strays in their country.

Cause for concern…

Roads destroy habitats: A sloth attempts to cross a road in Alajuela Province, Costa Rica. A staggering 85 percent of Earth’s land-based animals are now exposed to intense human pressure—including human population density, roads, railroads, agriculture, forestry, mining, dams and power infrastructure—according to a new analysis of more than 20,000 terrestrial vertebrate species. These animals “have nowhere to hide from human pressures ranging from pastureland and agriculture all the way to extreme urban conglomerates,” said the paper’s lead author, Christopher O’Bryan of the University of Queensland. (Photo credit: Ian D. Keating/Flickr)

Round of applause…

Coal kills: A new study conducted by the University of California San Diego found that between 2005 and 2016, the shutdown of coal-fired plants saved more than 26,000 lives and 570 million bushels of corn, soybeans and wheat in their immediate vicinities.  (Photo credit: Russ Walker/Flickr)

Parting thought…

We don’t own the planet Earth, we belong to it. And we must share it with our wildlife. —Steve Irwin

Earth | Food | Life (EFL) explores the critical and often interconnected issues facing the climate/environment, food/agriculture and nature/animal rights, and champions action; specifically, how responsible citizens, voters and consumers can help put society on an ethical path of sustainability that respects the rights of all species who call this planet home. EFL emphasizes the idea that everything is connected, so every decision matters.

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Questions, comments, suggestions, submissions? Contact EFL editor Reynard Loki at [email protected]. Follow EFL on Twitter @EarthFoodLife.