Response of Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) to Re-introduction to the Wild after Rehabilitation
W. A. H. EllisA, N. A. WhiteB, N. D. KunstB, and F. N. CarrickA
A Koala Study Program, Department of Zoology, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld 4067, Australia.
B Centre for Biological Population Management, Biology Department, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Qld 4000, Australia.
Subadult koalas were returned to the wild after 2 months in captivity. These animals were fitted with radio collars and released among a population of koalas in which the movements of 30 individual were being monitored by radio tracking. For the first 30 days after release, movements of the rehabilitated koalas were monitored daily, thereafter biweekly. The movement pattern of females after release was characterised by remaining within the study area. In contrast, the males showed a progressive movement away from the site of release (approximately 1 km after 30 days). During the same period the established koala population exhibited its usual pattern of movements within the study area.