Government must help Koalas suffering severe dehydration from Busbys Flat fire
MEDIA RELEASE - 1 November 2019
NEFA is again requesting that the NSW Government provide urgent assistance for surviving Koalas affected by the Busby's Flat fire in light of its findings that many of the survivors are suffering severe dehydration and unlikely to survive without help.
It is now over 3 weeks since the Busby's Flat fire burnt out an extensive Koala population on the Richmond River lowlands identified of regional significance, yet the NSW Government refuses to provide Koalas with urgently needed assistance, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
Koala killed by the Rappville fire in Carwong State Forest October 2019
"Most Koalas are likely to have been killed either directly by the fire or by the subsequent loss of feed tree canopies, though many have survived.
"From limited searches NEFA have so far identified 76 post-fire records of Koalas, including 4 live Koalas and 2 dead, with the balance being scats (faecal pellets) under trees.
"There is now evidence that many of the survivors are suffering from dehydration, with some in urgent need of rescue and others needing assistance, such as supplementary water and potentially feed.
"The NSW Government's contempt for the plight of this Koala population has been profound. The scale of the problem warrants urgent Government intervention, but to date our requests for intervention have been futile.
"The NSW Government needs to show some compassion and provide Koalas with the urgent help needed to recover from this disaster, at least for those colonies on public land that they are responsible for.
"While the NSW Government agencies have been quick to mount a rescue attempt for Koalas burnt out south of Port Macquarie, they have refused to do anything to help this Koala population.
"NEFA also has grave concerns for Koalas in the 15 Koala Hubs burnt in the Bees Nest fire", Mr. Pugh said.
NEFA's report on its post-fire assessment is at https://www.nefa.org.au/audits