Additional Threats to Koalas
- CLIMATE CHANGE – Koalas appear to be drinking much more water than they used to. It is believed their newfound thirst is because the leaves that used to keep them hydrated are drying out as our climate gets hotter and drier.
- VEHICLE STRIKES – Koalas need to come to ground to move between the trees within their habitat. On ground movement across roads put koalas at a greater risk of being hit by cars, particularly at night.
- ATTACKS BY DOGS, CATTLE AND HORSES – Between July and November, adult koalas will be moving around in search of mates, making them more vulnerable to dog attacks. Cattle and horses often attack koalas forced onto the ground because of excessive tree-clearing. If the koalas’ habitat was better connected, they would not be forced to walk across paddocks and properties searching for new habitat.
- STRESS and DISEASE such as Chlamydia. Chlamydia causes conjunctivitis (which can lead to blindness), urinary tract infections and infections of the reproductive organs that can lead to female infertility.For tips on how to recognise a sick Koala, see the Friends of the Koala website: http://www.friendsofthekoala.org/fok/thehealthykoala
- UNFRIENDLY FENCING (particularly barbed wire) will stop koalas from moving freely between habitats. Refer the wildlife friendly fencing website: http://wildlifefriendlyfencing.om/WFF/Home.html
- BUSHFIRES – Koalas are also at great risk from bushfires. A bushfire will destroy the under story and a hot fire will burn the canopy. The koala’s territory is often no longer able to sustain them due to lack of food and shelter, and a forest can take up to 10 years to recover from a major burn.