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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. In December  we rescued 12 koalas from Kanangra-Boyd National Park to keep them safe from bushfire (read more here) and have finally put them back this month, with a bonus joey in the pouch so we have put back 13! Now we need funds to monitor them in the wild to make sure they settle in 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 support:

  • Monitoring (radio-track) these 12 koalas now they have been released back into the wild to make sure they survive. By following them and seeing how they use a burnt landscape, they can also help us to work out where else koalas might have survived after the bushfires.
  • Scaling-up our search and support for surviving koalas across the fire grounds over the coming months. That includes sending in our koala detection dog "Smudge". We need to find and help survivors across the region, and work out what impact the fires have had so that we can plan to protect the koalas we have left. There is still a danger of starvation for koalas after fire if the tree canopy continues to die back.
  • Surveying and mapping more koalas in new areas so that in future we know where to search for survivors after bushfire. We could only save these 13 koalas because we knew where they were from our research.
  • Working with the Rural Fire Service, National Parks and Wildlife Service and government agencies to plan for protection of koalas, including prescribed burning.
  • Working with and supporting communities in nearby developed areas to reduce other threats to koalas including vehicle strikes and dog attacks.
  • Utilising 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

Thank you so much to everyone who supported our emergency repsonse work over the last 3 months; putting out water and food for wildlife including koalas, and doing search and rescue for wildlife immediately after the fires.




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

$82,812 raised

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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.