Alarm bells ring for Noosa koalas

NOOSA's desperate koala deaths saga has just become a little sadder.

Koala Diaries campaigner Carolyn Beaton said the dwindling Noosa National Parks koalas have suffered another death over the weekend.

"Murray Chambers from Sunshine Coast Koala Wildlife Rescue responded to a call on Saturday morning that there was a koala sitting on the ground and seemingly unable to climb," Ms Beaton told the Noosa News.

"The 10-year-old male named Scribbles by Murray was later euthanized at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, after an examination revealed a tumour on his kidney and bone marrow disease.

Ms Beaton said the hospital suspects the influence of the Koala Retrovirus (KoRV).

"Dr Greg Simmons, a specialist in this field, addressed the Sunshine Coast Koala Summit only days ago and he explained that KoRV belongs to a group of leukaemia viruses, many of which have been shown to cause cancer and immune suppression in other species," she said.

"Scribbles was one of only two koalas that have been regularly observed near the visitor information hut in recent times."

Ms Beaton said koalas are now so few in the park that the population is not considered viable without expert management intervention.

"The appropriateness of a koala recovery effort here, and what this should entail, was one of the discussion points at the Sunshine Coast koala summit," said Ms Beaton.

"Anecdotal evidence suggests koala numbers in the park reached a peak in the late 1990s, with no fewer than 90 animals, and have been in sharp decline since."


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