Council move to help region's koala population welcome
WILDLIFE rescuer Natalie Richardson has welcomed steps by Fraser Coast Regional Council to help save the region's koala population but says more needs to be done to ensure the animals do not disappear from the area in the next five years.
Information released at the council's latest meeting shows $10,000 has been allocated to preserving koala habitats, with the council also seeking matching contributions from groups and grants.
The funding and talks with Department of Environment and Heritage Protection were in response to a petition lodged by councillor James Hansen.
Ms Richardson urged the council to consider reviewing existing development approvals for their impact on koala habitats, and to designate part of the environment levy to buying land.
"If something is not done, they will be gone from here in the next five years," she said.
"They will be locally extinct. That's the reality they're facing."
Ms Richardson said she had picked up four sick koalas in the past week, which were all now being treated at Australia Zoo.
She said more were expected to be picked up each day going into summer as the koalas became more active for the breeding season.
Ms Richardson said diseases such as conjunctivitis had become more common in the Fraser Coast's koala population in the past five years and blamed it partly on stress.
Cr Hansen could not be contacted for comment before deadline.
Koalas on the Fraser Coast
- People with koalas in their area can place a shallow bowl of water out for them, rescuer Natalie Richardson advised
- Koalas that appear ill should be reported as some diseases will not get better without intervention