Koala Habitat Protection with Detection Dogs - AustraliaIn Australia, detection dogs are koalas’ best friend
Sydney, 25 March 2022 — More than 200 koalas were admitted to one of Australia’s busiest koala hospitals during breeding season—known as trauma season.
Chlamydia, vehicle strikes and dog attacks were the most common reasons for koalas being admitted to the IFAW-sponsored vet team at Friends of the Koala near Lismore in New South Wales.
Between the months of July and December, koalas are on the move finding new mates or dispersing to new territories leaving them vulnerable in particular to car strikes or domestic animal attacks. During the last trauma season, Friends of the Koala tended to 218 koalas which is more than half the hospital’s yearly koala admissions.
“We predict these numbers are only set to rise during subsequent seasons as remnant habitat continues to become smaller and more fragmented, forcing koalas to travel long distances on foot through urbanised areas,” said vet Dr. Jodie Wakeman.
Sadly, 129 koalas had to be euthanised but 70 were able to be released back into the wild—where they belong—and to hopefully contribute to the future of the species.
“While many of the cases we admitted this trauma season ended in euthanasia, as a community we do have the ability to turn this around by ensuring injured or sick koalas are seen by our IFAW-sponsored vet team as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Wakeman.
IFAW Animal Rescue Program Officer Nicole Rojas-Marin said early intervention and treatment was vital to give sick or injured koalas a second chance at life.
“Every individual koala we can rescue, rehabilitate and release back into the wild is critical for the future of the species,” Ms Rojas-Marin said.
“This is more important now than ever given koalas in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory are classified as Endangered and face more threats to their survival than ever before.”
Photos available here.
About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) — IFAW is a global non-profit helping animal and people thrive together. We are experts and everyday people, working across seas, oceans and in more than 40 countries around the world. We rescue, rehabilitate and release animals, and we restore and protect their natural habitats. The problems we’re up against are urgent and complicated. To solve them, we match fresh thinking with bold action. We partner with local communities, governments, non-governmental organisations and businesses. Together, we pioneer new and innovative ways to help all species flourish. See how at ifaw.org