Gympie region residents can go online and log sightings of koalas in a bid to keep track of the dwindling population.
Gympie region residents can go online and log sightings of koalas in a bid to keep track of the dwindling population. Craig Warhurst

Keeping a close eye on koalas

EXPERIENCED Gympie wildlife carer Paula Rowlands says the recently launched Koala Diaries website is “a brilliant idea”.

Noosa-based koala campaigners Carolyn Beaton and Alex Harris have developed the site that enables people to track koalas and add sightings of both live and dead koalas.

Paula says a central database that brings together information from every source is a valuable aid to help save the vulnerable species.

“I’ve picked up koalas on the road that have been killed or that have been ripped apart by dogs and often thought there should be a log kept of them all,” she said.

The well known wildlife carer fears that local wild populations of koalas are dwindling so rapidly they could be at the point of no return.

Habitat restriction hampers animals enough to reduce healthy breeding behaviours and consequently the stressed and diseased animals fail to thrive and numbers fall below a viable point, resulting in extinction.

Paula says she has seen a marked increase in sick koalas.

Sadly, she adds that very few are able to be saved.

“The population is crashing… it’s reached a critical point,” she says.

One thing is certain – koalas in the wild are in very serious trouble.

“If you knock down their home tree, they will return to that spot and sit there and cry… they don’t know where else to go,” she said.

Another supporter of the website is conservationist Bob Irwin who said it would have been good to have had the website a decade earlier when koala numbers began to plummet.

The website includes education resources, a koala carers’ forum, photos and blogs.

If you require help with injured or sick wildlife, contact Gympie and District Wildcare Australia 07 5483 7777.

Gympie Times


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