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Science for Wildlife

Blue Mountains Koala Project

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Koalas in Crisis

We're at risk of losing one of the most significant koala populations in Australia.

The fires in northern NSW have been devastating. The hidden tragedy in the World Heritage Blue Mountains is just beginning. We need to act urgently to save what we can, and then protect what is left of the koalas we still have in the wild. 

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. Amidst reports of dramatically declining koala populations in other areas of Australia, this was hopeful news for koalas. We also discovered they are the most genetically diverse koalas in the country and therefore critical for conservation of the species. There are likely to be many more koalas living in different areas of the Greater Blue Mountains region.

Tragically, there is an unknown death toll for koalas in this region. The massive Gospers Mountain fire in Wollemi National Park has burnt two thirds of the koala habitats we recently mapped, containing hundreds of koalas. Our second study population in Kanangra-Boyd National Park is being burnt by another mega-fire coming up from the south, this is a koala population that is one of only two chlamydia-free populations in NSW. There are more koalas out there, but we don’t exactly where or how many koalas.

Nobody was prepared for this. These koala populations are newly discovered.

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 give your support so we can scale up our efforts to rescue and treat burnt koalas, and then work to ensure the surviving koalas have a future under climate change. Your donation will help us to:

  • Search and rescue for koalas on the fire grounds. The local wildlife carers are already full and Taronga Wildlife Hospital is taking in koalas for us.
  • Support training and koala enclosure costs for wildlife carers in these areas so there are enough resources to care for koalas after fire. 
  • Help communities that live close to koalas to 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 have the information to know when bushfires are threatening people and properties so we can plan to help them. We don’t have the same information for koalas. We've found some koala colonies but not all of them, we don’t know how many are being lost in the bushfires or how many will be threatened by fire in the future. This is critical for conserving surviving koalas after these fires.
  • 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.

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

 

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Contact Details

Po Box 286
CAMMERAY NSW, 2062


Are donations tax deductible?

Yes

Will I receive a receipt for my donation?

Yes, as soon as your donation is processed.