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Taronga Conservation calls for urgent funding to address emerging koala crisis
To address the emerging koala crisis resulting from recent and ongoing catastrophic bushfires, Taronga Conservation Society Australia is calling for urgent funds to help its partner, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.
The funding will also help Taronga’s long-term work that aims to change the trajectory of koala populations and care for any injured koalas treated at the Taronga Wildlife Hospitals.
Devastating bushfires have torn through huge areas of vital NSW koala habitat. When fires rage through forests, koalas have little defence, and often sadly perish.
With koalas already at high risk of extinction before the east coast fires ravaged their numbers, the previously dire situation is now devastating.
In the Lake Innes Nature Reserve alone, it’s estimated as many as 350 koalas have died.
Nick Boyle, Taronga’s Director of Welfare and Conservation, advises “our hearts are breaking for the affected communities, for those who have lost their lives and homes, and for the defenceless wildlife fallen victim to the earliest and worst bush fire season NSW has ever faced."
Taronga has sent emergency relief funds to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital where their incredible vets and wildlife carers are working tirelessly to save the survivors. Taronga’s two Wildlife Hospitals and Wildlife Health teams are also on standby to offer emergency assistance when called upon.
Boyle added “pressures on the Koala were already compounding - habitat loss and land degradation, disease, highly fragmented populations, droughts and heatwaves, climate change, predation by non-native species, and urban growth.
“And now this. It’s difficult to digest but there’s only one thing to do and that’s to step quickly into action. We are in close contact with the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and they need our help.”
Stating that the koalas in the hospital are already significantly dehydrated from the drought and that these fires are another devastating blow, Port Macquarie Hospital Director, Cheyne Flanagan stated "the bushfires in NSW have decimated already declining Koala populations. Search for those still alive is ongoing. We need your help at this critical time so we can rebuild the population into the future.”
Before this emergency, Taronga has been building its long-term strategy to identify, connect and restore habitat for priority NSW koala populations. The rehabilitation research Taronga is undertaking will improve the integration of these rescued and injured Koalas back into the wild.
Boyle concluded “once these bush fires pass, there will still be a crisis for koalas. The next couple of years will be more important than ever for the long-term future of koalas.”
To donate to Taronga’s urgent Koala Appeal, visit: www.taronga.org.au/savekoalas
18th November 2019 - Aussie Ark calls for wildlife support during bushfires
26th February 2019 - NSW Government to boost Koala population and improve national park access
11th December 2018 - Improved mapping leads to better outcomes for koala habitat
7th September 2018 - Land clearance to cause Koala extinction in NSW by 2050
18th July 2018 - Gold Coast City Council looks to boost local koala habitat
7th July 2018 - Australian Reptile Park welcomes record koala breeding season
12th June 2017 - $3.3 million revamp for Brisbane’s Daisy Hill Koala Centre
14th February 2017 - Dreamworld backs koala conservation with new breeding program
1st October 2012 - National Zoo and Aquarium breeding program welcomes new koala
30th April 2012 - Koalas to be listed as threatened amid rapid decline
28th September 2011 - Koala inquiry calls for vulnerable status
1st August 2011 - Dreamworld highlights perilous state of koala colonies
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