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Animals 2016, 6(9), 56; doi:10.3390/ani6090056

The Rescue and Rehabilitation of Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in Southeast Queensland

1
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Gatton QLD 4343, Australia
2
The Gainsdale Group, P.O. Box 108, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane QLD 4006, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Darryl Jones
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 6 September 2016 / Accepted: 7 September 2016 / Published: 15 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife-human interactions in urban landscapes)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2381 KB, uploaded 15 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

Koala populations in southeast Queensland are under threat from many factors, particularly habitat loss, dog attack, vehicle trauma and disease. Animals not killed from these impacts are often rescued and taken into care for rehabilitation, and eventual release back to the wild if deemed to be healthy. This study investigated current rescue, rehabilitation and release data for koalas admitted to the four major wildlife hospitals in southeast Queensland (Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital (AZWH), Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital (CWH), Moggill Koala Hospital (MKH) and the Royal Society for the Prevention Against Cruelty to Animals Wildlife Hospital at Wacol (RSPCA)), and suggests aspects of the practice that may be changed to improve its contribution to the preservation of the species. It concluded that: (a) the main threats to koalas across southeast Queensland were related to urbanization (vehicle collisions, domestic animal attacks and the disease chlamydiosis); (b) case outcomes varied amongst hospitals, including time spent in care, euthanasia and release rates; and (c) the majority (66.5%) of rescued koalas were either euthanized or died in care with only 27% released back to the wild. The results from this study have important implications for further research into koala rescue and rehabilitation to gain a better understanding of its effectiveness as a conservation strategy. View Full-Text
Keywords: koalas; rehabilitation; release koalas; rehabilitation; release
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Burton, E.; Tribe, A. The Rescue and Rehabilitation of Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in Southeast Queensland. Animals 2016, 6, 56.

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