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The chosen video is of an interview with Dr. Valentino Mella, a postdoctoral researcher who has specialized in studying animal behavior. They discuss about the effects of climate change as well as human activities and how these changes are affecting the behaviors of animals. The main climatic change covered concerns heatwaves which have raised temperatures and forced animal species that were previously known for not drinking free water to start doing so. The same issue is discussed in the website article with a call for water supplementation to conserve this species whose population has declined in the recent past.
Research and Perspectives
In fast four minutes of the interview, Dr. Mella begins with a brief recap of her childhood interest in animals and ecosystems and how it led to her career in biology, particularly in animal research. She then proceeds to inform the interviewer about her current study project on koalas. From the video, she clarifies that she is currently undertaking a project focusing on koalas’ change in behavior of drinking free water that is apparently caused by the change in climatic conditions in Australia and then ties her study to the issue of conservation ("Dr Valentina Mella", 2017). Dr. Mella says Koalas have been conventionally known for relying fully on tree leaves for food and as a source of water but now this behavior is changing as they have recently been observed to drink free water.
In the article, Dr. Mella says, “This is the first study to document the role of water and the possible benefit of water supplementation for koala populations”. Although climate change has caused the heatwave and compelled koalas to seek free water to drink, human activities such as tree felling that fragments animal habitats, diseases, vehicle collisions and dog attacks have also contributed to the decline in their population ("Koalas driven to drink by climate change", 2017). The issue of tree felling is as harmful to koalas as dry conditions because Dr. Mella says they exclusively depend on trees for sleep and eating. These two activities make up a bulk of koalas’ activities. This research raises the need for conservation measures for koalas which are declining in numbers to due to the above-mentioned factors.
I was interested in this animal research because of its focus on animal conservation. I liked the way Dr. Mella clarified the issue of behavioral changes in koalas and how the research used remote video surveillance to collect their information. The inclusion of the video surveillance of the koalas drinking water from Blinky Drinkers in the article is a solid way of presenting research findings as it may minimize the need for detailed descriptions. The link of the research to the issue of animal conservation raised my interest in the research as I had thought that the research was merely going to exclusively cover animal behaviors and nothing else. After watching the interview video and reading the research article, my perception about climate change and animals that survive in dry conditions changed. I think it is important that we should conserve these animals otherwise they will not survive as it is hard for them to perfectly adapt to the changes. I liked how the interviewer set the flow of the interview and how Dr. Mella discussed her research. Since the research is said to be ongoing, I didn’t find anything missing as I believe the full findings will be amended with recommendations on how to conserve koalas.
Dr Valentina Mella. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH06dGeE89M
Koalas driven to drink by climate change. (2017). Retrieved from https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2017/03/03/koalas-driven-to-drink-by-climate-change.html
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