Everything you need to know about Cleland’s new Victorian koalas

Everything you need to know about Cleland’s new Victorian koalas

Koalas are now con­sid­ered endan­gered in Queens­land, New South Wales and the Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Territory.

While north­ern koalas are fac­ing the threat of increased defor­esta­tion, south­ern koalas are faced with their own challenges.

South Australia’s koala pop­u­la­tion suf­fers from low genet­ic diver­si­ty, which can lead to renal dis­ease, arthri­tis and repro­duc­tive prob­lems. Chlamy­dia is also wide-spread in wild populations.

How much can a koala bear?!

But in good news, a new pro­gram has been launched here in South Aus­tralia to secure the sur­vival of the species. And it involves koalas from interstate.

Here’s every­thing you need to know:

About the partnership 

In a bold cross-bor­der part­ner­ship, genet­i­cal­ly diverse and dis­ease-free males from Vic­to­ria have joined the unique Gold­en Chil­dren koala breed­ing pro­gram at Cle­land Wildlife Park in the Ade­laide Hills.

The pro­gram was estab­lished after the 2019/2020 sum­mer bush­fires in Kan­ga­roo Island.

The breed­ing pro­gram is led by Koala Life – an inde­pen­dent not-for-prof­it organ­i­sa­tion set up for the con­ser­va­tion and research of koala dis­eases – which aims to estab­lish Australia’s only spe­cialised dis­ease-free populations. 

By breed­ing the koalas res­cued from Kan­ga­roo Island with ones from Vic­to­ria to diver­si­fy the genepool, it is hoped that the suite of genet­ic dis­eases these koalas suf­fer from can be reduced or even elim­i­nat­ed. And that’s great news for the future of the south­ern koala sub-species here in SA.

Fur­ther afield

In oth­er koala good news, cel­e­bra­tions are under­way after a south­ern koala was born in Europe for the first time ever.

Everything you need to know about Cleland’s new Victorian koalas

In Octo­ber 2018, Cle­land Wildlife Park koalas Den­nis, Maizie, Coorong and Vio­let arrived at their new home in the UK – Wiltshire’s Lon­gleat Safari and Wildlife Park – in a bid to raise the pro­file of koalas through­out Europe.

In ear­ly Feb­ru­ary 2022, Lon­gleat announced Vio­let has giv­en birth to a joey, who will makes its first pub­lic appear­ance lat­er in the month to coin­cide with the wildlife park’s reopen­ing after winter.

The yet-to-be named joey, whose sex is still to be deter­mined, has spent the past 6 months of its life safe­ly inside its mother’s pouch, and can now be safe­ly revealed to the world after begin­ning to ven­ture outside.

Dis­cov­er more research being under­tak­en in the fight to save Australia’s icon­ic koalas with our sto­ry: How drones and fit­ness track­ers are help­ing South Aus­tralian researchers mon­i­tor koalas

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living