Climate Change Imperils Koalas

Hotter weather makes eucalyptus less delicious
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2008 12:36 PM CDT
Petra the koala again.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
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(Newser) – Koalas' fussy eating habits put them at special risk from global warming, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Hotter weather makes eucalyptus leaves—the animals' only food source—lower in nutrients and higher in toxic chemicals than they once were. The change could force koalas out of areas of their already dwindling habitat, Australian researchers warn.

And the koalas won't be able to adapt quickly enough to the changing character of their food supply.  "They've got nowhere near enough time to do that," said the lead researcher.