Koala Alliance will work to secure animal’s future

AN alliance devoted to the survival of Australia’s remaining koala populations will be launched on Monday.

The National Koala Alliance is a non-profit network of koala conservation, welfare, advocacy and research groups working collaboratively to bring a national voice to koala habitat conservation, political lobbying and koala protection.

The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is a member.

The koala hospital’s clinical director, Cheyne Flanagan, liked the alliance to a brains trust.

“If we have all of us together as a group, we have more clout and it’s a united voice,” she said.

The alliance has already presented a code of conduct for the bluegum industry to the Victorian government.

The group will lobby on federal and state levels for further koala protection.

Koala numbers are rapidly declining and local extinctions are occurring.

The association believes that without immediate and urgent political intervention, one-by-one, koala populations will suffer local extinctions, and if a national approach isn’t taken, we are looking at an Australia with no koalas.

Koalas are under threat from loss of habitat, urban and semi-urban development, disease, plantation logging, mining, dog attacks and being hit by cars.

“Something has got to be done,” Ms Flanagan said.

The association’s launch was timely, she said, as the situation was getting worse.

Ms Flanagan said the koala was a sentinel species.

“They are the canary in the mine … so the alliance is a win-win for all species,” she said.

Ms Flanagan said the koala hospital had a lot to contribute to the alliance because of its long history.

“We talk from experience,” she said