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Friday, 26 September 2008

Dreamworld’s Koala Joeys open their Eyes to a Bigger Problem in Support of Save the Koala Day


Five of Dreamworld’s cutest joey koalas today opened their eyes to a bigger problem, when they left mum’s pouch and united to support Save The Koala Day activities.

The Australian Koala Foundation kick started Save the Koala Day at Dreamworld today with the debut of the furry youngsters before unveiling an aerial map of east coast Australia that highlights a devastating drop in the koala population.

CEO of the Australian Koala Foundation Deborah Tabart OAM shared the spotlight with the joeys.

“These captive bred koalas are a symbol of hope and while they are thriving in sanctuaries like Dreamworld, their numbers in the wild are plummeting at an alarming rate. Save the Koala Day is about telling the world that we have to do something and do it fast,” Ms Tabart said.

Ms Tabart added that more than AUD$8 million has been poured into researching and documenting 1000 field sites, with habitat mapping showing there are just 100,000 koalas left in the wild.

“The Federal Government is pushing to protect national icons under its Care for Country campaign, and there is no animal more iconic than the koala. Sadly, the two year deliberation period to assess the koala’s listing as a threatened species is simply too long,” Ms Tabart said.

The koala shares its habitat with more than 1000 threatened species and Ms Tabart believes they could be afforded protection if the koala was listed as a threatened species.

“By saving the koala, we can salvage another 900 or so species that share the same biodiversity. Given that recovery plans for each species cost around $1million each, saving the koala now will have enormous benefits for other species down the track.”

September is Save the Koala Month and AKF will raise awareness about the plight of the koala by selling koala tattoos. To find out ways to help save our koalas, visit www.savethekoala.com.

Dreamworld is proud to be a gold sponsor of the Australian Koala Foundation, and has the second largest population of captive koalas in the world. In conjunction with the University of Queensland, Dreamworlds koala husbandry and breeding is maintained at the highest standard ensuring captive genetic diversity.

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