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Koalas Left To Die On Roads

August 15, 2012

Ray Chambers from Sunshine Coast Koala Rescue highlights a very real concern for all koalas and conservation efforts during koala mating season, when koalas leave the safety of trees more often in search of potential mates.

 

“Today’s people, all they’re keen about is as long as they’ve got their new car, and their the laptop’s working well and they’ve got a new house – their comfort zone. “Why don’t people out there do something a bit different today and feel good about saving something.

 

THE BARE FACTS

  • 504 koalas admitted to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in the first six months of 2012

  • 76 were hit by vehicles

  • 52 were attacked by domestic dogs

  • 197 were suffering Chlamydiosis

  • 154 were released, with many more still undergoing rehabilitation

* Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

 

KOALA LEFT TO DIE

By Bruce Atkinson and Janel Shorthouse

26 July, 2012 4:20PM AEST

 

The president of the Sunshine Coast Koala Wildlife Rescue Service is outraged over the death of a koala on the Bruce Highway north of Brisbane.

 

Ray Chambers says his rescue service received calls from passing motorists about the koala sitting on the edge of the highway at Morayfield on the afternoon of Wednesday 25 July, 2012.

 

The koala was dead when they arrived and Mr Chambers says he’s angry no-one pulled over to help in an area where it was safe to do so.

 

“Nobody in our modern world just didn’t want to stay with him and pull over or try to scare him off the road or you know have a blanket and push him off or whatever.

 

“They just drove past.

 

“They didn’t even want to stay you know no one wants to stay. I just saw the photos of him and it’s just a full case trauma, issue, death,” says Mr Chambers.

 

He says the koala could have been saved.

 

“Today’s people, all they’re keen about is as long as they’ve got their new car, and their the laptop’s working well and they’ve got a new house – their comfort zone.

 

“Why don’t people out there do something a bit different today and feel good about saving something.

“If someone had pulled over and got that guy off the road or stopped him from going on the road until a rescue crew got there, they’d be waking up today saying you know I’ve done something different yesterday and I feel so good about it,” says Mr Chambers.

 

Koalas are now in the trauma season, Ray explains, fatalities will skyrocket because it’s koala mating season and as they become more active they fall victim to cars and dogs.

 

He estimates less than 150 koalas remain on the coast and says the same fate awaits them as the Tasmanian Tiger.

 

“If Tasmania still had the Tiger imagine the tourist dollars from people from all over the world going to Tasmania to look at the love Tassie Tiger.

 

“They’d be the richest state in Australia and we’re doing exactly the same thing now you know 80 years later, we’re killing the koala and people want to come here to see the koalas in the wild and once thats gone you know Australian tourism dollars are just going to drop right off to nothing,” says Mr Chambers.

 

He says unless urban development is controlled it won’t belong before the coast’s koala population is wiped out.

 

“We do school talks and stuff like that and we ask kids, you know, have you ever seen a koala in the wild and no one puts their hand up anymore.

 

“You know one might put their hand up and say, ‘oh I saw one at the zoo’. Well that’s the zoo but in the wild … I say to a lot of people especially in the more harder areas like the Sunshine Coast, you know, you’ve probably got a better chance of winning lotto than seeing a koala in the wild.”

 

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/07/26/3554343.htm

 

MORE KOALAS DIE ON REGION’S ROADS

Amy Mckenna | 25th July 2012 8:05 AM


The Chambers brothers Ray (L) and Murray, of Sunshine Coast Koala Wildlife Rescue, say the Coast’s koala population is in severe decline.

 

Cade MooneyTWO koalas have been killed on Sunshine Coast roads over the past two days, in another savage blow to the dwindling local koala population.

 

One adult koala was killed on Sunday afternoon on the Bruce Hwy near Noosa, and the other, a male joey, was struck on Monday night near Sunshine Beach.

 

Sunshine Coast Koala Rescue’s Ray Chambers is saddened but not surprised by the loss of two of the Coast’s koalas.

 

“It’s not unusual for us to receive four or five calls around Queensland about dead or injured koalas in a weekend,” he said.

 

He said the Coast’s koala population was in severe decline.

 

Once a popular tourism drawcard for the Sunshine Coast and especially Noosa National Park, koalas these days could be more commonly seen dead on the side of the road than sleeping in a gum tree, Mr Chambers said.

 

He said areas that once had significant koala populations, such as Noosa Heads and Caloundra, were estimated to have only single-digit numbers remaining.

 

Wildlife experts believe the Coast koala population to be as low as 150.

 

Mr Chambers pointed the finger at development and habitat clearing for forcing koalas to cross high traffic areas looking for food, or a partner in mating season.

 

He estimates that four out of every 13 injured koalas are rescued and released back into the wild on the Sunshine Coast.

 

“Koalas simply cannot survive in urban areas,” he said.

 

“But we continue to build developments and focus on making money and thanks to that, we will lose this Australian cultural icon.”

 

Mr Chambers and his brother Murray drive as far as Emerald and Gladstone to aid injured koalas and are on call 24 hours a day.

 

He urges motorists who sight koalas on the road to call Sunshine Coast Wildlife Rescue even if the koala is dead.

 

“A female may have a joey that we can save, or it might be a tagged animal,” he said.

 

An Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital spokeswoman told The Daily the koala situation was dire.

 

“If current trends continue, the next five years could prove fatal for the Coast’s koala population,” she said.

 

Anyone finding any injured wildlife can call the 24-hour emergency hotline on 1300 369 652.

 

THE BARE FACTS

  • 504 koalas admitted to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in the first six months of 2012

  • 76 were hit by vehicles

  • 52 were attacked by domestic dogs

  • 197 were suffering Chlamydiosis

  • 154 were released, with many more still undergoing rehabilitation

* Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

 

Source: http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/story/2012/07/25/another-weekend-another-spate-of-koala-deaths/

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