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Koala management on Kangaroo Island gets a fresh injection

News article |

The SA Koala Conservation and Management Program will be implementing koala fertility control on Kangaroo Island in early 2019.

Approximately 400 female koalas will receive hormone implants in priority areas (where koala densities are high) to protect native vegetation.

The hormone implant fertility control measure, which was evaluated over the last year, has shown great promise and is now deemed to be the preferred method for the management of over-abundant koalas in South Australia.

The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) has been working closely with veterinary staff from Zoos SA to refine the technique.

With $140,000 being allocated by DEW for the January to June period, recruitment for the management team is set to begin in earnest.

Koala Program Manager Dr Robyn Molsher said DEW is pleased to be able to continue fertility control on the island, which has been shown to improve tree health at the landscape scale.

“The Department is now in a position to build on its work whilst considerably reducing the handling time for koalas and improving the cost effectiveness of the fertility control program,” Dr Molsher said.

“We are also engaging with others involved in koala management and conservation across the state and we held the inaugural Koala Stakeholder Working Group meeting recently in Adelaide.

“Discussions were had on koala management issues with over 40 attendees representing state and local government, wildlife parks and wildlife carers with local representation including KI’s Kate Welz (KI Wildlife Network) and Jim Geddes (Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary).

“It is hoped that this working group will continue to work together to identify and address koala conservation and management issues across the state.”

The next meeting of the Working Group will be held in May 2019.

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