Our featured story this week is shedding some positive light and hope on what has been a frighteningly awful development in Australia from this past week’s brushfires. Koalas have been hit the hardest, but the entire world has rallied to put up more than $1M to help them.
Brushfires in the Australian outback are common this time of year. But much like many folks know all too well in California, the size and scope of wildfires has grown worse due to rising temperatures and drier conditions. The negative impact of climate change continues to heighten around the world.
Koalas Functionally Extinct
Of all wild species, and humans included, Koala populations have been hit the hardest. The eucalyptus tree koalas rely on have been decimated. Over 1,000 koalas have reportedly died from fire and smoke, and 80% of their habitat is lost. A devastating blow to one of Australia’s true treasures.
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital Fundraiser
Thousands of koalas were rescued by volunteers but remain in critical condition. We are going to save you the horror of seeing these beautiful animals suffering and screaming in pain, but suffice to say it’s utterly heartbreaking. Koala hospitals need funds for supplies, water, treatment and more. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has raised over $1.5 million on GoFundMe from over 36,000 people, showing that the world cares!
Animalia for Port Macquarie
We here at Animalia are setting up our own mini-project to help raise funds. Our Creative Director, Dana Veraldi, has created a koala drawing we are going to frame and print as a gift for the hospital. Over the next week, we are asking everyone in our community to contribute something - be it $5 or $50 - to Port Macquarie GoFundMe. For everyone that does, Dana is going to add their name to the illustration around the koala design before we send it their way. You'll also be entered to win a framed unsigned print! Animalia ourselves will be donating $500 as well. Simply let us know if you made a donation and we will add your name. The cutoff is December 3rd. We will not ask for proof - we trust our community to use the honor system with something as important as this. Just shoot us an email or a DM on Instagram or reply to this newsletter to let us know.
In Other News
A Biodegradable Plastic Made From Fish Waste
A 24-year old engineer from London, Lacy Hughes, won the James Dyson Innovation award for creating a biodegradable plastic from fish waste! Using only discarded fish parts and scales from a local fish processing plant, Lacy turned this into a translucent plastic sheet that biodegrades in just 4 to 6 weeks. The waste from a single Atlantic Cod Fish can create up to 1,400 sheets of this biodegradable plastic! Read more about Lacy and her invention here.
That Rhino Horn Ain't Worth What It Used To Be
A new effort to combat the poaching of rhinos is underway - flooding the Black Market with fake replicas. The theory goes, if the market becomes saturated, prices will drop, economics 101. As prices drop relative to the high penalties of getting caught with a real one, this may push buyers and middlemen away. Lower demand would also further push down prices. It’s a novel effort to try and fight one of conservation's biggest losses. As always, we are on Team Rhino. Read more here.
2019 Wildlife Photography of the Year
Recently, the Natural History Museum of London released their best of 2019 Wildlife Photography. Let's not waste any time describing it to you. Enjoy them here.