Limits...
The Rescue and Rehabilitation of Koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus ) in Southeast Queensland

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Simple summary: Little is understood about the overall success of current wildlife rehabilitation techniques and the implications of these as an effective conservation strategy. This study collated admission records from four major wildlife hospitals catering to sick and injured koalas across southeast Queensland from 2009 to 2014, and analyzed specific factors that may be important when quantifying the extent and effectiveness of this work. The study found koalas to be at an increased risk from urbanization and human disturbance, that various rehabilitation techniques are employed amongst the four wildlife hospitals, and that a majority of koalas are either euthanized or die whilst in care rather than being released back to the wild. These results provide an interesting insight into current koala rehabilitation practices and have important implications for further research to better understand the practice of rescue and rehabilitation as an effective conservation strategy for this species.

Abstract: Koala populations in southeast Queensland are under threat from many factors, particularly habitat loss, dog attack, vehicle trauma and disease. Animals not killed from these impacts are often rescued and taken into care for rehabilitation, and eventual release back to the wild if deemed to be healthy. This study investigated current rescue, rehabilitation and release data for koalas admitted to the four major wildlife hospitals in southeast Queensland (Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital (AZWH), Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital (CWH), Moggill Koala Hospital (MKH) and the Royal Society for the Prevention Against Cruelty to Animals Wildlife Hospital at Wacol (RSPCA)), and suggests aspects of the practice that may be changed to improve its contribution to the preservation of the species. It concluded that: (a) the main threats to koalas across southeast Queensland were related to urbanization (vehicle collisions, domestic animal attacks and the disease chlamydiosis); (b) case outcomes varied amongst hospitals, including time spent in care, euthanasia and release rates; and (c) the majority (66.5%) of rescued koalas were either euthanized or died in care with only 27% released back to the wild. The results from this study have important implications for further research into koala rescue and rehabilitation to gain a better understanding of its effectiveness as a conservation strategy.

No MeSH data available.


Seasonal trends of koalas admitted to the four wildlife hospitals throughout the study period.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5035951&req=5

animals-06-00056-f002: Seasonal trends of koalas admitted to the four wildlife hospitals throughout the study period.

Mentions: Figure 2 displays seasonal trends of koalas admitted to the four wildlife hospitals between 2009 to 2014, including annual proportions as well as monthly contributions.


The Rescue and Rehabilitation of Koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus ) in Southeast Queensland
Seasonal trends of koalas admitted to the four wildlife hospitals throughout the study period.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5035951&req=5

animals-06-00056-f002: Seasonal trends of koalas admitted to the four wildlife hospitals throughout the study period.
Mentions: Figure 2 displays seasonal trends of koalas admitted to the four wildlife hospitals between 2009 to 2014, including annual proportions as well as monthly contributions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Simple summary: Little is understood about the overall success of current wildlife rehabilitation techniques and the implications of these as an effective conservation strategy. This study collated admission records from four major wildlife hospitals catering to sick and injured koalas across southeast Queensland from 2009 to 2014, and analyzed specific factors that may be important when quantifying the extent and effectiveness of this work. The study found koalas to be at an increased risk from urbanization and human disturbance, that various rehabilitation techniques are employed amongst the four wildlife hospitals, and that a majority of koalas are either euthanized or die whilst in care rather than being released back to the wild. These results provide an interesting insight into current koala rehabilitation practices and have important implications for further research to better understand the practice of rescue and rehabilitation as an effective conservation strategy for this species.

Abstract: Koala populations in southeast Queensland are under threat from many factors, particularly habitat loss, dog attack, vehicle trauma and disease. Animals not killed from these impacts are often rescued and taken into care for rehabilitation, and eventual release back to the wild if deemed to be healthy. This study investigated current rescue, rehabilitation and release data for koalas admitted to the four major wildlife hospitals in southeast Queensland (Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital (AZWH), Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital (CWH), Moggill Koala Hospital (MKH) and the Royal Society for the Prevention Against Cruelty to Animals Wildlife Hospital at Wacol (RSPCA)), and suggests aspects of the practice that may be changed to improve its contribution to the preservation of the species. It concluded that: (a) the main threats to koalas across southeast Queensland were related to urbanization (vehicle collisions, domestic animal attacks and the disease chlamydiosis); (b) case outcomes varied amongst hospitals, including time spent in care, euthanasia and release rates; and (c) the majority (66.5%) of rescued koalas were either euthanized or died in care with only 27% released back to the wild. The results from this study have important implications for further research into koala rescue and rehabilitation to gain a better understanding of its effectiveness as a conservation strategy.

No MeSH data available.