koala-radio-tracking-elizabeth-006Koalas Sam and Bob have engaged world-wide compassion for the plight of native wildlife and other animals in Victoria’s horrific bushfires. The badly burnt koalas are in the care of a trained and experienced volunteer wildlife rehabilitator.

Thankfully, on the Northern Rivers, fire-damaged koalas are not common but the need for trained koala rehabilitators is ongoing. During 2008 nearly 350 koalas were received into care by Friends of the Koala.

“Directly or indirectly, each and every one of us can do something to assist the survival of the region’s free-ranging koalas,” said Care Centre Co-ordinator, Karen Jennison.

“Many people want to help but are not sure how they can contribute.”

Friends of the Koala will be conducting a course of Basic Training on Saturday 7 March 2009. Topics will include koala behaviour and ecology, rescue and immediate care, leaf collection, Koala Care Centre routines and koala transportation.
“The Koala Care Centre we operate in Lismore provides an opportunity for people wanting to work directly with koalas to do so on a rostered basis,” said Care Co-ordinator Barb Dobner.

“This means that caring does not have to be a 24-hour commitment and there is a wide range of other activities in which volunteers can become involved.”

Friends of the Koala has worked for the conservation of koalas on the Northern Rivers for over 20 years.

Its core business encompasses habitat protection and extension, as well as animal welfare – the rescue, rehabilitation and release of koalas under licence from the Department of Environment and Climate Change – advocacy, education and research.

The group’s broad charter offers numerous and different opportunities for involvement in koala conservation.

Bookings for the Basic Training course are essential. For more information and to register phone 6622 1233, email info@friendsofthekoala.org or visit www.friendsofthekoala.org

Find out about Friends of the Koala, its work and how you can make a difference.

PICTURE: Elizabeth, the fourth koala to enter the tracking program being conducted by Friends of the Koala, in conjunction with Southern Cross University and Lismore City Council. Elizabeth is tagged, radio-collared and was released earlier this month.