Make a model of a Koala habitat. Cut down the sides of a cardboard box to about 15cm from the base. Put some sand in the bottom of the box. Use twigs and leaves for trees, or Lego trees. Cut Koalas from cardboard and paint each one a different colour. Staple or stick them to trees. Tie pieces of coloured wool or thread on some of the trees to show each Koala's home trees, using the same coloured thread for each Koala.
Remember, Koalas do not live in our backyards - we have moved into theirs!
Who cares for sick, injured and orphaned koalas?
Fortunately for Koalas, there are many caring people around Australia who donate their time to help the thousands of Koalas which become sick, injured or orphaned each year. We call these people ‘Koala carers’.
Some veterinarians also donate their time and skills to treat sick Koalas and other native wildlife. In some places there are special Koala hospitals to treat the sick, injured and orphaned Koalas which are constantly coming into their care.
Koala carers play an important part in the Koala’s conservation, but the Koala’s habitat MUST be protected if it is going to survive in the future.
When Koalas that have been cared for are released back into their home territories, they usually face the same threats which made them sick in the first place, and they may become sick or injured again or they may even die.
How does the Australian Koala Foundation help koalas?
The Australian Koala Foundation (AKF, for short), is an international conservation organisation dedicated to saving Australia's wild Koalas and their habitat. Below are some of the ways that the AKF helps Koalas.
- We work to protect the wild Koala and its habitat in the whole of Australia.
- We work on the KOALA HABITAT ATLAS to map Koala habitat, so that we can use the information to protect the Koala and its habitat.
- We teach people about Koalas. We have a web site so that people all around the world can learn more about the Koala’s problems and what they can do to help.
- We talk to governments to ask them to pass stronger laws, such as the National Koala Act, to protect Koalas and their habitats in the WHOLE of Australia.
- We raise money to fund scientists, so they can find out more about Koalas and how to solve the problems they face.
- We organise meetings where people concerned with Koala conservation can get together to share their ideas on ways to save Koalas.
- We organise SAVE THE KOALA MONTH and SAVE THE KOALA @ SCHOOL DAY in September each year to make people more aware of the Koala’s problems and to raise money to help with our work in saving Koalas.
- We advise developers on how to build koala-friendly housing estates in areas where koalas are living.
How maps can help save koalas
More than four fifths (80%) of Koala habitat has already been destroyed since the beginning of European settlement in 1788. This makes it very important to find out where the best remaining Koala habitat is so that we can save it.
The Koala Habitat Atlas has been developed by the Australian Koala Foundation to find out where Koala habitat is located and to show town planners, and people who own Koala habitats, where Koalas live and which areas of bushland are important to protect for them.
Usually, an atlas is a book of maps, but the Koala Habitat Atlas maps are on a computer. With the Koala Habitat Atlas, we are making maps which show the type of Koala habitat, area by area, just like a jigsaw puzzle. Eventually, all the pieces of the jigsaw will come together to give us a picture of the state of Koala habitat remaining in Australia.
On the map at left, the red areas show the best remaining habitat in that area and the other colours show where there is damaged habitat, or even no habitat left at all (the light blue areas are water - the ocean and lakes). This whole area would once have been good habitat and therefore all red, but development for housing estates has destroyed much of the habitat. You can see how the Koalas now live in separated pockets of forest which means that they are more at risk from sickness, injuries and lack of food. It's also important to keep corridor areas between the red areas so that the Koalas can move between from one red area to another.
When we give this map to the town planners, they can clearly see which areas are important to save for the Koalas.