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Concern about ongoing fire impact on koalas

There are concerns extreme fire conditions could spell more trouble for the area’s koala population.
Fire recently ripped through vital koala habitat in the Lake Innes Nature Reserve area and koala experts are concerned the extreme fire conditions could impact koala populations west of Wauchope and at Dunbogan.
Koala Conservation Australia president Sue Ashton said she was worried.

“With a state of emergency being called across all of NSW, we are very, very concerned,” Mrs Ashton said.
“Port Macquarie is currently surrounded by fires. If the wind picks up, we could lose even more habitat and more koalas.
“It’s just so unpredictable – we don’t know what will happen.”

Toms Creek, Pappinbarra, Bellangry and Ellenborough, west of Wauchope, are all home to koalas as is Dunbogan in the Camden Haven.
It was likely Friday’s fire at the top part of Lake Innes Nature Reserve would have wiped out more koalas, Mrs Ashton said.
It is all hands on deck at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital as the team cares for fire-affected koalas.

One of the rescued koalas came from as far as Pappinbarra but the majority of the 14 fire-affected koalas in care at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on Monday, November 11 were rescued from the Lake Innes Nature Reserve.
Search and rescue teams are scouring the burnt-out sections of Lake Innes Nature Reserve for koalas and other wildlife.
Just over two-thirds of the Crestwood-Lake Cathie fire ground footprint is prime koala habitat.
Mrs Ashton said some of the rescued koalas were doing really well, while the koalas in the intensive care units were being fed formula and had their burns regularly dressed.
The koala hospital turned to crowdfunding platform GoFundMe to seek donations to fund wildlife drinking stations.

The money will go towards drinking stations to help koalas and other wildlife in the fire-affected region.
The koala hospital hopes to have 30 drinking stations ready to go in the next few weeks.
Mrs Ashton said the koala hospital had been overwhelmed with donations of food, towels and pharmaceutical supplies.
People can make financial donations through the GoFundMe page and the koala hospital website or in person at the koala hospital kiosk.

PortNews interview