Fire in Port Stephens threatens local koala population

The Newcastle Herald reports that "more than 9000 hectares of koala habitat was burnt" in this week's bushfires in the Port Stephens area. For the local koala population, the situation is looking very grim, with carers suspecting the worst outcome as those koalas that have been displaced or injured only now starting to emerge.

Rescuers have retrieved two koalas so far, a male named Koolah who was found clinging to a burnt tree on the side of the Pacific Highway and Dungog Rob, smoked out and then hit by a car. Both koalas will be important to the area’s population when they are able to be returned to the wild, given the possible losses to the fire. Click here to see a video of Koolah being well fed while in care. 

With the effects of Climate Change already being seen and felt across eastern Australia, bushfires will become more common and spread farther. We must remember that the habitat lost to these fires is home not just to koalas, but thousands of other species, many of them already federally listed as vulnerable and endangered. Protecting koala habitat is crucial in the fight against climate change and the battle to protect Australia's unique wildlife. Click here to learn more about the Koala Protection Act and what you can do to help.