Koalas are fighting a battle for their very survival. They have been for a while, because of deforestation – their habitat has been destroyed by people for their own purposes for "development" - roads, buildings etc - and their habitats have been destroyed by wildfires which, this year, have been more ferocious than usual.
So how can you help koalas?
Wherever you are in the world, there is something you can do.
Adopt a koala. There are a number of charities you can do this through, whether you are from Australia or anywhere else in the world. Save the Koala has an adoption scheme. The Koala Hospital enables you to adopt koalas too – the hospital helps injured and sick koalas and aims to release them where possible in the local area.
Become a member of a koala charity. Being a member gives you the chance to support, to be part of a single voice, to receive news and find out ways in which you can help. The Koala Hospital has a membership scheme, as does Friends of the Koala in the Northern Rivers region which has an international membership scheme. Bangalow Koalas also have a membership scheme.
Plant a tree. Koalas need trees. They need them to rest, for shelter, to move from one area to another. They need trees to eat, both for food and – there’s one tree which gives them medicine. Save the Koala enable you to do this in memory of someone or as a gift or simply for yourself.
Sponsor a forest or an acre for koalas. You can make a donation to the Koala Hospital to help them grow trees suitable for koalas. Bangalow Koalas want to create a koala wildlife corridor in their area (New South Wales).
Grow trees for koalas on your property. Save the Koala has a lot of helpful information about what trees to plant. Friends of the Koala have information too and you can buy trees from them for $1. Koalas need certain sorts of tree. Koalas in Care have tips on where to plant and not to plant trees.
Spread the word on social media – get the word out that koalas and Australian wildlife need help. The media only talk about human deaths and damage to personal property. It’s as if wildlife don’t exist. Wildlife does exist and they do matter. Raise awareness for them. Be aware of what you can do to help koalas in your area. Koala Rescue Queensland have helpful tips on that. Be a voice for koalas – Friends of the Koala has information on campaigning and advocacy - and help get the word out about how you can help, what needs to be done, the help koalas need. Koala Bay in the Redlands area speaks up for koalas to give them advice and make change for the better for them.
Help those who are helping koalas. They need your support.
The wildfires mean exhausting and heart-breaking work for all those people who are discovering koalas, dead or alive. Koalas climb trees in a wildfire. If they climb high enough, the fire may pass below them. But wildfires are devastating for trees. Consequently many koalas have died, and many more have been burnt, thirsty and all sorts of injuries. The people helping koalas need to know we are all behind them and support their efforts, heart-breaking though they must be. Koalas are very particular about the trees they eat, so it is all the more devastating for them when these trees are destroyed in fire. Find out more here about some of the impact of recent bushfires in Australia.
Please do what you can to give them that support and help people help koalas and restore their habitat.