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Monday, July 22, 2024

Two more koalas call Brisbane home

Two more koalas have found their home among the gumtrees today in the Wacol Pooh Corner Bushland Reserve.

As part of the Brisbane City Council and University of Queensland Koala Research Partnership Program, the releases aim to build the population of the national icon. 

After returning multiple koalas to bushland across Brisbane late last year, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Council’s partnership will continue to support the reintroduction of koalas into the Wacol area.

“The Koala Research Partnership Program aims to create a resilient population of koalas in Brisbane by tackling key threats to this iconic species,” Cr Schrinner said.   

“Pooh Corner Bushland Reserve was acquired by Council in 2006 as part of the Bushland Acquisition Program with habitat restoration works that have occurred since then making this location an ideal new home for koalas.  

“The two koalas, Chandler and Heaven have received veterinary clearance from the Moggill Koala Rehabilitation Centre and are ready to be reintroduced into the protected bushland to enjoy their days napping and feasting on delicious native gum leaves.”

The partnership began in 2020 and is addressing threats such as Chlamydia disease in koalas.

Dr Sean FitzGibbon from The University of Queensland’s Koala Ecology Group said Council is leading the way with the koala conservation project.

“Pooh Corner Reserve is a beautiful bushland that contains high-quality koala habitat and this proactive project will re-establish koalas in the reserve,” Dr FitzGibbon said.

“This new approach shows we can re-establish koalas in areas where they have become locally extinct, provided it is now safe for them.

“It will result in another valuable population to help ensure the species’ long-term survival in Brisbane, where people can come and walk and see koalas in the wild, on their doorstep.”

Cr Schrinner said researchers will continue to monitor and perform regular health checks on the koalas as they are released to ensure they thrive in their new environment.  

“This crucial research will make a significant contribution to ensuring the longevity of healthy koala populations in Brisbane as well as advancing the knowledge and understanding of this important species and their habitat,” he said.  

“Council will also continue its ongoing research with partners into other areas including the development of probiotics to improve koala rehabilitation success, determining the genetic resilience of our local populations, and gaining a better understanding of chlamydial infection and disease.  

“Residents can also do their bit to help protect our koalas by keeping their dog on a leash when walking in bushland areas, sticking to the designated trails, keeping their distance from wildlife and watching for wildlife when driving, especially at dawn or dusk.” 

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