It’s koala month and the first to benefit are the koalas in the Redland shire, where they’ve been given a new safe haven.
And with the focus on our furry friends this month, scientists at Queensland University of Technology are also helping by developing a vaccine to protect koalas against a range of diseases.
Helena Webb reports.
There are fewer than 80,000 koalas left in the wild, mostly in fragmented colonies.
In a bid to increase the iconic animal’s protection, the Redland Shire Council in Brisbane’s bayside, has declared a 4.6 hectare site at Alexandra Hills as a koala reserve.
Cr Paul Gleeson, Redland City Council: “This protection here of the land will ensure this will never be built out and will always be protected for the koala. And we are looking at other areas right through the city to do that.”
This is good news for Professor Kenneth Beagley and his research team, who claims better conservation for koalas will help them to tackle common diseases in the animal.
Professor Kenneth Beagley: “There’s some studies done by some of our colleagues looking at what would have most effect on stabilising the koala population and their studies suggest that if you can prevent disease from occuring and chlamydia is a major disease in koalas then that would play a major role in stabilising koala population in this area.”
While there are more than 12 researchers working on the project, scientists say they have only just scraped the tip of the iceberg.
In the mean time, it is good news for koalas in the Redlands and around the city, who can begin to feel safer about their habitats and future.
Helena Webb, QUT News.