Teamwork makes the dream work
Science for Wildlife, a not-for-profit conservation organisation dedicated to bridging the gap between research and on-ground wildlife conservation, carried out the rescue and release. This amazing rescue was carried out in partnership with San Diego Zoo Global and Taronga Zoo, and with the permission and support of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Where did the koalas go?
The koalas were part of an ongoing study, the Blue Mountains Koala Project, and with the support of Saving our Species this project had been uncovering hidden koala colonies across the Blue Mountains region. On release, the koalas were fitted with tracking collars. Ecologists can track them to understand their movements through the post-fire landscape, find out more about which trees and habitats they prefer, and understand the threats they face.
Why are these koalas important?
Koalas are a vulnerable but iconic species, with the Blue Mountains population sadly losing 80% of their UNESCO World Heritage habitat during the 2019-20 bushfires. As part of a collaborative study, Science for Wildlife discovered that the Blue Mountains koalas are the most genetically diverse in the world, so their conservation is essential for the survival of the species.