Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Koalas are bolloxed, climate change does it again!

Read below, of the imminent demise of one of Aussie's icons. I will try to "source" a "quintessential" picture of a koala, so you can remember how they were in a "best practice" natural enviroment...
Read on...and tremble lah!
The koala is under threat from climate change, according to new research which shows rising carbon dioxide levels are killing nutrients in the plants they eat.
Lab tests have revealed that global warming is stripping the goodness from eucalypt leaves, and theUniversity of Sydney researchers behind the study saythe koalas that rely on them don't have enough time to adapt to the change.
"What currently may be good koala habitat may well become, over a period of not so many years at the rate that carbon dioxide concentrations are rising, very marginal habitat," lead researcher Professor Ian Humesaid."I'm sure we'll see koalas disappearing from their current range even though we don't see any change in tree species or structure of the forests."Prof Hume will present new research at a major science conference in Canberra showing that increases in CO2 decrease levels of "good" nutrients and increase toxic nutrients in eucalypt leaves.
This change will mean eucalypt species with high protein content will become unbeneficial to the koalas, the so-called "anti-nutrients" such as tannins bind the protein making it unusable.
"If there is a significant rise in CO2 concentrationin the atmosphere, which we're already seeing, that's going to push the ratio of nutrients to anti-nutrients even lower, by increasing the concentration of these carbon-based anti-nutrients," he said.
When asked how long it would take for koalas to be affected, he said: "I would've thought a few years ago when we first did these experiments that you might sees omething in a hundred years.""But at the rate at which things are going, I suspect that we might see changes within our lifetimes," ProfHume said.
He will tell the Academy of Sciences conference that koalas had "nowhere near enough time" to adapt to the changes in nutrient content.They may be forced to travel in search of more nutrient-rich species, increasing their risk of being hit by vehicles or eaten by predators, the researchers warned.The team believes the eucalypt will also be affectedby rising temperatures, with some so sensitive to heat that even a one-degree shift will affect their growth.The marsupials could be left with less temperature-sensitive species that are not suitablefor koala feed.
The group studied the four marsupials that eat eucalypt foliage - koalas, the greater glider, common ringtail possum, and common brushtail possum - and found koalas most sensitive

By special request...

Yes, another purveyor of hornbags, and a good all round deviate, has been placing considerable pressure on one's netherparts for this photo.

For further twisted behaviour, and some other unnatural activities, you may visit one of his many blogs...however the one that is some interest, and concern to here at...

Otherwise, enjoy these fine ladies here and now, about their daily stroll, whilst the shadow of dark and evil looms over them....

And just to keep his Spadginess happy, here is a bonus K-girl, just for him. Anyone else is also welcome to drool as such.