Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon
Rehabilitated koalas will be fitted with collars, released into the wild and then monitored to understand the potential conservation benefits.
Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said Australia Zoo will undertake the research with a $90,000 grant from the Palaszczuk Government’s Community Sustainability Action Grants – Koala Applied Research South East Queensland program.
“Koalas are an Australian icon – and Queensland is playing its part to protect and preserve them,” Ms Scanlon said.
“The program will be undertaken in several south east Queensland local government areas – and the findings will inform future release programs.
“Australia Zoo will also conduct a community education and survey to assess community knowledge and attitudes towards koalas.
“This information will be used to drive behavioural change amongst residents to enhance koala survival.”
Minister Scanlon said a $98,000 grant under the same state government program will fund a vaccine trial for koalas.
“This is a vital step in our fight against the highly infectious Chlamydia disease which is plaguing our koala population,” Ms Scanlon said.
“The Sunshine Coast University will vaccinate up to 500 koalas presenting to several south east Queensland wildlife hospitals, including Australia Zoo.
“Once the vaccine has been administered, the koalas will be returned to the wild and their health and survival monitored to determine the efficacy of the treatment.
“It’s vital we take care of the health of the state’s koalas as their long-term survival is under serious threat.
“Chlamydia can cause infertility which directly reduces reproduction and the future viability of the population.”
Seven organisations have received funding in the latest rounds of the grants program:
The CSA grants were launched in 2016 by the Queensland Government as a means of supporting those members of the community working towards a more sustainable and resilient Queensland.
For more information on the Community Sustainability Action Grants: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/funding/community-sustainability
DES Media Unit: (07) 3339 5831 or [email protected]