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Faeces transplants could help save koalas from extinction as they continue to struggle with increasing habitat loss.
The goal of the transplants is to boost the microbiome of the marsupials and allow them to eat a slightly wider range of food than the one specific type of eucalyptus.
Researchers - University - Queensland - Australia - Bacteria
Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia analysed and altered the internal bacteria of a koalas' guts.
Conservationists in Australia were devastated when koala numbers plummeted in 2013 as many of the animals starved to death.
Dr - Michaela - Blyton - Ways - Animals
Dr Michaela Blyton began researching ways to save the popular animals following this alarming decline.
'In 2013 the koala population reached very high densities, leading them to defoliate their preferred food tree species, manna gum,' Dr Blyton said.
Cent - Mortality - Starvation
'This led to 70 per cent mortality due to starvation, which was very distressing.'
The animals starved to death instead of adapting and eating a different species, known as messmate.
Koalas - Tree - Species - Messmate - Fact
'What was interesting was that even though the koalas were starving, they generally didn't start feeding on a less preferred tree species, messmate, despite the fact that some koalas feed exclusively on messmate.
'This led me and colleague Dr Ben Moore at Western Sydney University to wonder if the microbes present in koalas' guts -...
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