New Efforts To Manage Over-Abundant Cape Otway Koalas

14 September 2015

Victorian Government vets and wildlife officers will return to Cape Otway from Monday 21 September to carry out two weeks of welfare actions to manage and protect the local koala population.

The welfare actions will include assessing the health of 300-400 Koalas, fertility controlling healthy females, euthanizing unhealthy koalas to prevent suffering and conducting a trial translocation of 30 koalas to test the suitability of other local habitats.

The Government has sought expert advice about how best to take the pressure off the habitat at Cape Otway and that has resulted in the trial translocation.

This follows the health assessment conducted in May, which resulted in 29 out of 100 koalas being euthanized due to ill-health. Further advice and consultation was sought with a panel of animal welfare and ecological experts on short and long term measures to effectively and humanely manage the overabundant koalas.

In addition, Victoria will allow suitably qualified Zoos and Wildlife Parks to re-home orphaned back young koalas whose mothers are euthanized because of poor health.

Victoria is also jointly leading the development of national translocation guidelines for koalas - to assess the potential impact of moving koalas from over-abundant populations to areas in other states where koala numbers are in decline.

Over-abundance of koalas at Cape Otway is a complex, long-term issue brought about by their love of Manna Gums, their reluctance to change food source, favourable climatic conditions and an absence of predators.

The Government would like to thank the Cape Otway community, especially businesses and the Conservation Ecology Centre for providing local knowledge and support as well as undertaking rehabilitation work and tree planting.

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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