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Science for Wildlife

Blue Mountains Koala Bushfire Appeal


Koalas in Crisis

Devastating wildlife losses, and unprecedented fire conditions, have led us to take unprecedented measures. Over the weekend we rescued 12 koalas from Kanangra-Boyd National Park to keep them safe from bushfire (read more here). Now we need funds to collect huge amounts of eucalyptus branches to feed them while they're in care, then to fund their transport and release back into the wild once it is safe, and also resources to monitor them to make sure they settle back into the wild OK.

Beyond these 12 koalas, the bigger picture is bleak. While the fires in northern NSW have been devastating, there is a hidden tragedy in the World Heritage Blue Mountains. There is an unknown death toll for koalas in this region. The massive Gospers Mountain fire in Wollemi National Park has more than 75% of the koala habitats we recently discovered, containing hundreds of koalas. The koalas we have recorded in Newnes Plateau are probably gone by now from the same fire. Ninety percent of koala habitats in Kanangra-Boyd National Park have been impacted.

The vast Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is an incredibly important region for koalas. Our research so far has been a game-changer; people assumed the Blue Mountains region would not support koalas because it is sandstone-based country but now we know differently. We have found several large and growing koala colonies and the most genetically diverse koalas in the country. There are likely to be many more koalas living in different parts of the Greater Blue Mountains region.

These koala populations are newly discovered and we don't have the resources we need to protect them.

Your donation will help us to:

  • Collect browse for the koalas we have moved to Taronga Zoo, and monitor (radio-track) these 12 koalas when they are released back into the wild to make sure they survive.
  • Scale-up our search and rescue for koalas on the fire grounds. That includes sending in our koala detection dog "Smudge".
    We need to find and help survivors, as they fight dehydration and starvation. Trees that were partially burned by fire can continue to lose condition after the fires and koalas have been recorded dying from starvation after fire.
  • Support training and koala enclosure costs for wildlife carers in these areas so there are enough resources to care for koalas after fire, we have nowhere to put more koalas.
  • Put out water drinkers to help koalas and other animals during drought and extreme heat.
  • Survey and map more koalas so we know where to search for survivors after bushfire. We could only save these 12 koalas because we knew where they were from our research.
  • Work with the Rural Fire Service, National Parks and Wildlife Service and government agencies to plan for protection of koalas, including prescribed burning.
  • Work with communities in nearby developed areas to reduce other threats to koalas including vehicle strikes and dog attacks.
  • Utilise this iconic and beloved species and its presence in the World Heritage Blue Mountains to pressure for more action on climate change.

In addition to the current crisis, these bushfires have raised red flags about the scale of impacts that climate change will have on koalas in the future. Climate change is expected to create even more frequent and intense bushfires, this catastrophe is only the beginning.

Please donate now and help us to work on the big picture to secure a future for koalas.
For other ways to help or get involved, please visit our website




Help Science for Wildlife to reach their goal of $90,000

$72,690 raised

Contact Details

Po Box 286

Are donations tax deductible?


Will I receive a receipt for my donation?

Yes, as soon as your donation is processed.