Will Koalas Make It? | Scholastic.com
The imperiled koala is in even more danger of disappearing forever.About Scholastic | Welcome
The latest threat to the species' existence is carbon dioxide pollution, according to scientists. It is putting their main food source at risk.
The koala lives in forests of eucalyptus trees, which is a type of gum tree. Leaves from the trees are the koala's primary source of food.
But scientists in Australia say those leaves have been absorbing too much carbon dioxide. As that happens, toxin levels in the leaves have risen and their nutritional value has decreased.Koalas are picky eaters. There are 700 different types of gum tree, but the koala eats the leaves from only 25 of them. Those trees make up their forest habitat.
[This article is from 2009; a similar claim is also made by Scholastic in 2012--I have the hardcopy, but I can't find it online] But as carbon dioxide pollution poisons the eucalyptus, koalas are forced to look for food in other places. This has led koalas to venture out of the trees to search for something to eat. The relatively defenseless koala is then vulnerable to cars and dog attacks.
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