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Celebrating Save the Koala Day

One of the most iconic animals in Australia – the koala – is threatened with extinction. Every year on 30th September, we celebrate Save the Koala Day. The day is dedicated to educating people about conserving the Koala’s natural habitat.

Save the Koala Day showcases the vital work that various organisations are involved in to protect Koalas from disease and also to protect their habitats now and into the future.

The conservation team at Phillip Island Nature Parks Koala Conservation Reserve (KCR), is focusing efforts on creating a safe haven for koalas that may not survive in the wild. Several of our koalas have been raised at the reserve after being orphaned in the wild and some have come to us for rehabilitation after being affected by bushfires. The team is also is holding four koalas in a purpose built enclosure. The area is housing Chlamydia-free koalas, one male and three females, in the expectation that they will breed.

In additional work, between March and June 2022, five healthy KCR koalas were involved in a study on the effects of the mange treatment, fluralaner (Bravecto), of koalas. Mange is a fatal skin disease and occurs sporadically across the koala range, but is increasingly common in koalas in Victoria. Bravecto has been effective in treating mange in wombats but koalas metabolise medications very differently to wombats. Therefore, a pharmacokinetic study was undertaken to determine the correct dose rate for the treatment of mange in koalas. If successful in healthy koalas, the study would then progress to afflicted koalas in the wild. This study was undertaken in conjunction with the University of Sydney and Zoos Victoria. Preliminary results suggest that the medication will be effective and stay in the koalas’ system for long enough to treat the mange.

The image featured shows Roger the Koala participating in the Bravecto trial.

Stay tuned for further updates from the Koala Conservation Centre and support the Koalas on Phillip Island (Millowl), by adopting a Koala today. We appreciate your support in ensuring Koalas populations thrive.

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