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Australian Study Aims to Save Koalas

  • VOA News

Australian researchers are studying a thriving koala colony in hopes of saving the popular animal whose numbers are declining elsewhere in the nation.

University of Queensland scientists are climbing high into trees to study a surprisingly healthy colony in the northeast state.

They say Koalas elsewhere in Australia are plagued by the disease chlamydia, which causes blindness and female infertility.

Scientists capture, test, and tag the healthy animals in the colony to find out how they resisted the threats.

Experts believe genetics could be involved.

Researchers are particularly interested in the babies - or, joeys - these koalas are carrying in their pouches.

Other threats to koalas include water contamination, loss of habitat and highway accidents.

The study will continue for years with researchers canvassing the health of koalas across 63,000 hectares of Australia.
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