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Koalas are being given birth control to fight overpopulation

Koala juvenile in Great Otway National Park, Victoria, Australia

Jouan & Rius/naturepl.com

Koalas in parts of Australia have been sterilised and given long-term contraceptives to control overpopulation – and it seems to have worked.

David Ramsey at the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research in Melbourne, Australia, and his colleagues have analysed the effect of two fertility control programmes on koala populations in areas where the animals have bred too successfully, risking starvation.

The researchers studied a programme implemented between 2004 and 2013 in Budj Bim National Park, Victoria, in which female koalas were captured and treated with an implant of levonorgestrel …

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