Koala rescue groups receive grants up to $100,000

ELEVEN community and not-for-profit koala rescue groups have received grants ranging from $3000 to $100,000 as part of the state government's $25.5 million pledge to help save the embattled Australian icon.

This second round of funding - some $220,000 in total - will help the work of koala conservationists in the Darling Downs, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Pine Rivers, Sunshine Coast and Gympie areas.

The Currumbin wildlife hospital has secured a grant of $100,000 to aid its efforts.

"The Queensland Government is committed to protecting this much-loved icon," said Andrew Powell, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage Protection, "and these grants are a part of that holistic approach to koala rescue and rehabilitation."

Thousands of koalas are killed each year as a result of habitat destruction and encounters with domestic and wild animals as well as motor vehicles and disease.

While koalas in Queensland once numbered the hundreds of thousands, experts predict there may be as few as 10,000 left in the state.

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