WIRES has announced a three-year grant to the Koala Health Hub (KHH), a University of Sydney initiative to support koala care, management and research. The grant will sustain the KHH and allow it to respond to increasing need for koala care and management following recent bushfires and droughts.
“WIRES fully support the critical work being undertaken by Koala Health Hub,” WIRES CEO Leanne Taylor said.
“Thanks to the incredible financial support we received in response to Australia’s bushfires we are now in the position to fund this significant research initiative.
“The plight of Australian native animals and in particular the koala is in the spotlight and we need to take action now and do whatever it takes to halt the decline of their numbers in the wild.”
The donation of $1,012,399 is the largest one-off gift made to the University’s School of Veterinary Science, within which the Koala Health Hub sits. Donations to WIRES were made by both local and international donors including from the US, UK, Asia and Europe.
KHH benefits koala welfare and conservation by providing laboratory support and evidence-based information to those at the coalface of care and management of koalas, whether in the clinic or in the wild.
WIRES’ funding will be used to help KHH provide diagnostic support, expertise and coordination and communication to rehabilitation, university and government sectors. This includes funding a postdoctoral researcher and three PhD students, which will contribute to Australia’s pool of wildlife expertise and provide ‘boots on the ground’ to answer key questions to assist koala management.