Conserving Koala Country

Conserving Koala Country

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The death toll rises to 5

Trying to make sense of a senseless situation 4 Nov, 2013

Yesterday we lost another four of our radio-collared koalas to starvation: Lucie, Princess, Lison and Austin (Lucie is the little female with the joey featuring in this blog).  Six weeks ago, these animals were deemed healthy enough by vets to be released.  Their GPS tracks show how desperately and widely they've been searching for trees that have some leaves left on them.  Some like Dave and Scarface have been successful in finding some decent trees.  Beast has managed to find his way past a tree collar and is enjoying a decent meal or two.  But most are only finding dead trees and resorting to gnawing on the bark.  One koala and a joey nearly launched herself at us to get the few leaves we felt compelled to hold out to her.

These animals are just the few that we've been tracking for the last few years.  There are countless others suffering the same fates.  In the process of tracking yesterday, I came across the carcasses of five others, and I wasn't even searching for them.  And this is just the koala death toll.  The tree death toll is even greater.  Well over 400 hectares (about 1100 acres) of manna gum woodland is now dead and what remains is rapidly being defoliated by ravenous koalas. 

We are pleading with the government to intervene.  While they can't turn back time, they can put an end to the koala suffering, help any remaining live trees recover, and assist landholders rebuild the habitat.  You can help by emailing your view to Mr Ryan Smith (Minister for Environment; or Denis Napthine (Premier;

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