Protecting the world’s wildest places
Koalas are facing extinction across the east coast of Australia due to disease, drought, bushfires, and flash floods. According to new data the number of koalas in the country has plummeted from 80,000 in 2018 to around 32,065 – 57,920 in the wild.
In 2022 the Australian government announced that koalas would be officially classified as endangered in QLD, NSW, and the ACT. NSW has experienced the worst loss in population with a conservative estimate of 6382 koalas killed in the 2019-20 bushfire season.
THE KOALA RE-WILDING PROJECT
Koalas were already on the path to extinction and then came the bushfires, and now the floods. Experts fear the fires and floods have accelerated the march towards localised extinction events for koalas.
That is why the protection of Koala habitat and management of healthy Koala populations is so critical to the survival of the species. NUII is supporting WildArk’s mission to protect habitat and pioneer species recovery.
The Koala Rewilding Project aims to create a blueprint for the management of disease control in Koala populations across Australia. The goal being to ensure robust, healthy, wild populations
The project now moves to the Barrington Tops Wildlife Sanctuary in NSW. It is an environment free from some of the threats Koalas face – including feral animals (foxes), domestic pets and car strike. This makes it a good, controlled environment to work with the Koala population, track breeding success and eliminate the major threat, which is disease.
What we are doing
- Thermal Drone Surveys – Broad scale Koala population surveys in Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary to determine abundance of Koalas and check for disease presence.
- Animal Care Set-up and Outfit – Construction of an animal care facility to be utilised for Koala population health assessments and preparation for transport if required.
- Genetic Mapping – Koala population will be assessed and mapped for presence and abundance and disease presence in partnership with Sydney university.
- Creation of documentation on project outcomes and strategy management plan
- 4,000 Eucalyptus trees to be planted in the sanctuary in 2022
- Setting up an Indigenous Ranger Program providing employment for local indigenous communities in 2023.
Follow our journey here or @nuii_icecream_global on Instagram.