News from the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital Appeal

Image copyright Steve Franklin

You may well remember the heart-breaking television footage of the wildfires in Australia back in 2019 to 2020.

The fires were horrendous, and wildlife suffered appallingly.   One of the appeals that were set up to help raise funds to help the wildlife was the “Help Thirsty Koalas Devastated by Recent Fires” appeal on GoFundMe.  It was created on 1st November 2019 and you can visit the page to donate here.

The bushfires in and around the area devastated the koala population.  About 350 koalas died, and 75% of the fireground was prime koala habitat. 

The koalas needed urgent help

The initial aim was to raise the $25,000 to purchase and distribute automatic drinking stations which could be installed in the areas burnt by fire.  This would help both koalas and other wildlife in the area to survive.  One of the problems wildlife face as a result of fire is that their habitation has gone – and so has their food source.  There’s nothing to eat. And they need water to drink.

However, the appeal caught the public’s eye and touched the hearts of many: 

  • The number of drinking stations could be increased, shared with other wildlife organisations in regions affected across New South Wales. 
  • A water carrying vehicle with fire-fighting capabilities could be bought to replenish the drinking stations with water as it was needed. 
  • A wild koala breeding programme was established, too.  
  • Some of the funds were directed to building a ‘Koala Ark# which meant the surviving koalas could be accommodated in a healthy habitat area, the idea being they would breed and then a new population could be established to go back to the wild.

Breeding koalas for release

The first female koala has taken up residence at the Wild Koala Conservation Breeding Facility in Guulabaa!  Lee Lee will have company in the weeks ahead.   The facility is funded by Koala Conservation Australia (KCA), and it will contribute hugely to koala conservation in the New South Wales mid-north coast and beyond, through translocation projects using koalas bred within the programme.  The programme will breed wild koalas from a carefully selected healthy ‘founder’ population, in a natural forested facility – it’s as close to wild koala habitat as possible – and with strict animal health protocols.  This is sometimes called ‘breed for release’.

Visit the website

You can find out more about the Wild Koala Conservation Breeding Programme and see what you can do to help. 

Keep up to date with everything that's going on with the breeding programme!



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