Australia’s cutest marsupial is now “functionally extinct.”
Experts at the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) announced on May 10 that they believe no more than 80,000 koalas are left on the continent.
That’s not zero, of course, but “functionally extinct” means that a species’ population has declined so much that it no longer plays a significant role in the ecosystem (like as predators of other creatures, for example). That’s now true of koalas.
Deforestation, warmer weather, and droughts have all hampered the critters’ ability to survive and thrive.
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Aylin Woodward , Business Insider US