Research, Connect, Protect




Effects of capture on haematological values and plasma cortisol levels of free-range koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus)

Hajduk, P, Copland, MD & Schultz, DA 1992, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 502-506.

Eight wild koalas were captured on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, placed in transport boxes, and then transported to the Adelaide Zoo by ferry and road. Blood samples were collected from these koalas at the time of their capture, and subsequently six hours, 24 hours and seven days following their capture. Significant differences in the following properties were observed between the samples: erythrocyte (red blood cell) number, haemoglobin concentration, packed cell volume, mean cell volumes, numbers of the white blood cell types leukocytes, neutrophils and lymphocytes, as well as lymphocyte: neutrophil ratio.  No significant differences could be found between sampling periods for the following properties: number of the white blood cell types monocytes and eosinophils, and plasma cortisol levels.

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Koala translocations and Chlamydia: Managing risk in the effort to conserve native species

Waugh, C, Hanger, J, Timms, P & Polkinghorne, A 2016, Biological Conservation, vol. 197, no. 1, pp. 247-253.

Despite becoming more commonly accepted as a ‘last-resort’ strategy for protecting at-risk animals, koala translocation may have a negative net impact upon the conservation of the species because of the associated risk of spreading chlamydial disease. In the context of recent scientific developments regarding the biology and epidemiology of Chlamydia pecorum infections in koalas, the authors of this report discuss the risks associated with koala translocations and potential management strategies for those risks.

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Koalas on Kangaroo Island: from introduction to pest status in less than a century

Masters, P, Duka, T, Berris, S & Moss, G 2004, Wildlife Research, vol. 31, pp. 267-272.

The rapid increase in koala numbers after 18 individuals were introduced to Kangaroo Island, South Australia in the 1920s necessitated the development of a management plan to control the expanding population. Estimates of population size based on surveys carried out in 1994 placed the population at around 5000 individuals. At the time of implementation of a sterilisation and relocation program in 1997, however, it became apparent that initial surveys had greatly underestimated population size and an accurate measurement of the current population was needed.   

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Response of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) to re-introduction to the wild after rehabilitation

Ellis, WAH, White, NA, Kunst, ND & Carrick, FN 1990, Australian Wildlife Research, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 421-426.

Four subadult koalas that received treatment for vehicle-related injuries over a two-month period were subsequently released back into the wild and their movements monitored using radio collars. The resident population of 30 koalas at the release site was also being monitored, allowing researchers to observe its response to the released individuals.

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Translocation as a conservation strategy

Hellmann, JJ 2013, in Simon, AL (ed.), Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, vol. 7, Academic Press, Waltham, pp. 236-240.

Throughout history, humans have deliberately moved, or ‘translocated’, plants and animals from one location to another. Recently, translocation has emerged as both a tool for conserving species and, subsequently, a topic of scientific and moral debate. This chapter discusses how and why translocations occur, emerging themes in translocation, and the many risks involved with this conservation strategy.

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Translocation of overabundant species: implications for translocated individuals

Whisson, DA, Holland, GJ & Carlyon, K 2012, The Journal of Wildlife Management, vol. 76, no. 8, pp. 1661-1669.

Based on the outcomes of translocation of several koalas from a high-density population in south-eastern Australia to multiple release sites, it is evident that this management technique can have negative impacts on the health and welfare of translocated individuals.

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