National Wild Koala Day – May 3!
The inaugural Wild Koala Day was held on 3 May 2016 and it received lots of media and community attention.
Koalas are worth over $3 billion to Australia’s economy every year, yet we spend very little on protecting them in the wild. In fact, recent studies have shown that koalas are in decline in most of their Australian range (yes, even in Victoria).
Surely its time we invested in this fluffy icon, before we lose them forever?
May 3rd is Wild Koala Day
Get involved …
On International Wild Koala Day, overseas friends of the koala can get involved on the activities on the projects page and Australians can get involved in the projects, but of course most of them you can do ALL YEAR round!
Life of a Koala
Koalas are an endangered species and in the wild they face challenges everyday just to survive. Protected by the Government in 1937 after their populations were decimated due to the fur trade, failure of the government to protect their trees has resulted in a slower path to extinction, as land clearing on farms and development is encroaching on their habitat.
Koalas usually produce a single joey, and during an expected lifetime of 12 years a koala doe will have 5 or 6 joeys. 35 days after conception a joey, commonly known as a pinky, will emerge from the birth canal and make its way to its mother’s pouch, attaching itself to one her two teats. The joey will remain feeding on the teat until it is about 22 weeks old, when it will begin his or her emergence from the pouch. By 42 days old the joey remains outside of the pouch, after that the joey will begin to explore its world, staying close to his or her mother until it is 12 months old.
After the joey leaves its mum, it will remain in the family range and live its life out in that range.
Degradation of habitat
The degradation of their homes due to climate change is catastrophic with a decline of an estimated 80% in some areas. Extended droughts degrade both the nutritional and moisture quality of the leaves without an alternate source of water available koalas will die of dehydration.
Human expansion in Australia has caused several problems for wild koalas, not only are humans expanding into the koalas ranges but they bring with them two of the most deadly opponents of koalas, cars and dogs. Over 4000 are killed by them each year and more are injured.
Some of the people involved in this group are wildlife rescuers, they are the people on call all day, everyday to rescue the koalas that survive these incidents and make the decision to euthanase the koalas or to try and rehabilitate them and return them to their family ranges.