Today’s Solutions: December 01, 2021

In a remote, rural part of Australia, six hours by car from Sydney, summer temperatures are reaching 113 degrees as climate change makes heat waves more common. To help the local koala population survive both blistering temperatures and prolonged drought, researchers have been testing water fountains designed to sit in trees to make it easy for the creatures to reach.

Koalas usually get most of their water from eating leaves, not drinking water. But another effect of climate change is that the leaves they eat no longer contain enough water. The leaves–often eucalyptus–also can’t be eaten in huge quantities to try to access more moisture, because toxins inside them can make koalas sick. But if the animals become too dehydrated, they can’t survive.

The researchers tested some early prototypes, including a complicated platform in a tree. The koalas ignored it. But the animals did drink from a simple bowl. The researchers rigged up a gravity-fed system that automatically refills the bowl from a larger tank. Over the first 12 months of the study, koalas drank from the water stations on 400 visits–often ravenously. 

The researchers say they have footage of koalas drinking water for up to 10 minutes straight, which is not normal by any means and tells us that the water supply is shrinking for koalas in Australia. If that’s the case, then we’re going to need a lot more koala drinking fountains for these wonderful furry creatures.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Online mushroom hotline puts the power of crowdsourcing in poison control

Ninety nine percent of mushrooms are non-toxic, but the one percent which are can have fatal consequences if accidentally ingested. For people with pets or young children, a seemingly harmless patch of fungi in the ... Read More

30 White rhinos make record journey to Akagera national park

White rhinos are classified as near threatened, with numbers dropping due to poaching. In a bid to improve the outlook for the species, 30 of these giant animals recently made the journey from South Africa ... Read More

This cutting edge camera is the size of a grain of salt

Micro-cameras are used in virtually all industries. In the medical field, these tiny cameras have helped facilitate less invasive medical imaging practices and improved robotic surgical tools. Structures of molecules and neural pathways have been ... Read More

Research shows gestures take the guesswork out of learning a new language

It’s common knowledge that picking up a new language is easier as a child, while your brain is still flexible—but learning a foreign tongue as an adult is another story. Well, according to new research, ... Read More

This impact-absorbing technology will save lives (and traffic poles)

Crashing a vehicle is already a traumatizing and possibly fatal accident, but if the object that the vehicle collides into is a rigid street light pole that snaps off its base due to the impact, ... Read More

New York City opens the country’s first safe injection site

Harm reduction strategies are gaining traction as a more effective way to quell the ever-growing opioid crisis. These strategies, like making clean needle exchanges available and decriminalizing drug possession, understand that criminalization alone will not ... Read More