Koala activists are blaming housing developments in southeast Queensland for critically low numbers. Carers of orphaned koalas on Brisbane’s Bayside say the future of the species in the area is under threat.
Tiffanie Turnbull reports.
Sydney the koala is an orphan. The joey was rescued earlier this year after his mother was hit by a car and died at Griffin north of Brisbane.
Sydney’s story is not unusual and his carer says he’s one of the lucky ones, with once thriving koala numbers continuing to tumble.
Ken Rawlins, Koala Action Group Volunteer: “You could go almost anywhere, anyone’s backyard, any school, anyone would have koalas there in their trees. It doesn’t happen anymore.”
Volunteers have been tagging and tracking koalas to find out more about their behaviour.
The Koala Action Group says the biggest single factor leading to their demise is a loss of habitat.
Deidre de Villiers, Koala Ecologist and Carer: “Just be a bit more koala aware you can actually live with koalas quite well.”
Ken Rawlins, Koala Action Group volunteer: “When the local councillors and the local politicians hear from the people in community, that seems to have the most effect.”
Members of the group will rally at Cleveland’s Toondah Harbour tomorrow, to protest against a development.
Ken Rawlins, Koala Action Group Volunteer: “Unfortunately, as you can see, there’s so much development occuring in this area and it’s slated for further development. So it is a concern to us that these koalas will eventually be lost.”
The Redland City area, like the Moreton Bay Regional Council area, used to be a hot spot for the species.
Estimates now put the number of koalas left in the Moreton Bay region as low as 500.
Deidre de Villiers, Koala Ecologist and Carer: “They’re our icon we need to try and save them.”
Tiffanie Turnbull, QUT News.