Today is Save the Koala Day in Australia, and activists hope to use the occasion to raise awareness of the animal’s plight. The nation’s koala population is falling by about 1,000 a year, with fewer than 100,000 in the wild, says Deborah Tabart, director of the Australian Koala Foundation. Much of the decline is due to development, which is difficult to regulate because most koala habitat is on private land. While the U.S. this year declared the koala a threatened species, even though it only exists in Australia, the Australian government still classifies it as “common.” And some Australians aren’t too fond of the critter; for example, former Australian tourism minister John Brown once described koalas as “flea-ridden, piddling, stinking, scratching, rotten little things.”