Koala protection and Queensland conservation success stories like the recent birth of a rare northern hairy-nosed wombat, are being celebrated as part of this year’s National Threatened Species Day.
While visiting Currumbin Wildlife Hospital today, Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch also spoke about the $45,000 investment from the Palaszczuk Government towards new transportable koala enclosures for the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation.
This funding is on top of $250,000 the Palaszczuk Government provides every year to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, as part of the annual $1.5 million in funding provided to member organisations of the SEQ Wildlife Hospital Network.
Ms Enoch said National Threatened Species Day was a chance to acknowledge the positive work being undertaken to protect our wildlife, while continuing to raise awareness.
“We have to work together to protect Queensland’s threatened animals and plants,” Ms Enoch said.
“From maintaining habitat and food sources to encouraging breeding among species, our work now will go on to shape our state’s ecosystem in the future – one I want to see preserved for generations to come.
“Koala protection sits at the heart of the Palaszczuk Government’s conservation efforts, which is why we’re here on the Gold Coast spreading this message.
“We’re making strong progress with our South-East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy and will continue to back the vital work of those on the frontline, such as Currumbin Wildlife Hospital.”
Ms Enoch said the $45,000 investment from the Palaszczuk Government allowed Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation to build nine new transportable koala enclosures.
“Transportable koala enclosures increase the capacity of the wildlife hospital to care for sick and injured koalas, and allow koala carers to rehabilitate koalas on site and limit the need to transport them to other locations,” Ms Enoch said.
The Currumbin Wildlife Hospital has been caring for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife since 1989, and now treats thousands of wild animal patients every year.
Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Senior Vet, Dr Michael Pyne said the ever growing admissions of sick and injured koalas has put a tremendous strain on our Wildlife Hospital, these new enclosures will allow a number of recovering koalas to be treated as outpatients and cared for by skilled wildlife volunteers offsite.
“As a charitable organisation, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation greatly appreciates the assistance from the State Government to help care for koalas,” he said.
Ms Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was moving on its strategy to protect koalas.
“Koalas are an iconic species of both national and international importance and the Palaszczuk Government is taking action to ensure they are protected,” she said.
“We have implemented strong vegetation management laws and we are developing a new south-east Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy. We are also in the final stages of establishing the Koala Advisory Council, which was one of the recommendations in the final report of the Koala Expert Panel, which was released earlier this year.”
Dr Pyne said the recommendations of the Koala Expert Panel were crucial to conservation efforts in Queensland.
“Koala admissions into Currumbin Wildlife Hospital continue to grow year after year,” Dr Pyne said.
More details about the Koala Conservation Strategy can be found here: https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/wildlife/koalas/review-conservation-measures.html
Other Queensland Government conservation wins for threatened species in 2017-18 include:
- The endangered northern hairy-nosed wombat population growing in two colonies in Epping Forest National Park and the Richard Underwood Nature Refuge. Due to the success of the breeding program, investigations are now underway to find suitable sites for a third colony
- The re-establishment of key Richmond birdwing butterfly subpopulations and expansion of the butterfly’s range, as well as a perceived increase in the species’ abundance – a result of translocations of outbred butterflies
- Operation Sand Dune on Raine Island – which involved raising and reshaping sections of the beach – leading to turtle hatchling success rates increasing by almost five times that of early seasons
- The Queensland eastern bristlebird recovery team establishing an agreement with DES to house eastern bristlebirds at David Fleay Wildlife Park to support the captive breeding program at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
It’s National Threatened Species Day, and I was delighted to visit Currumbin Wildlife Hospital this morning to see the amazing work they do for our vulnerable species, like #koalas. More info: https://t.co/cThMUavaQo @CWSlive @CWHFAU #environment #Queensland #GoldCoast pic.twitter.com/t7ibjN5XcY— Leeanne Enoch MP (@LeeanneEnoch) September 7, 2018
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch