Squeak and Layla celebrated National Tree Day by lounging around in theirs.
Squeak and Layla celebrated National Tree Day by lounging around in theirs. Damian Dunlop

Koala numbers in decline

YESTERDAY might have been National Tree Day, but Marilyn Spletter from the Gumtips Nature Refuge is hoping people do not forget the animals that live in trees - like her babies Squeak and Layla.

Mrs Spletter, who looks after the two baby koalas as part of her animal rescue role, said koala numbers in the Ipswich region were in rapid decline and needed urgent attention.

“There's not enough talk about the clearing of trees - it's destroying the habitat of our koalas and other animals,” Mrs Spletter said.

“We're really trying to stop a proposed freight road from Springfield to Rosewood, because it comes right through land with a high koala population.

“By the way things are going, compared to koala counts in other regions, our numbers are expected to be very low.

“We really need to do as much as we can before we lose more of our native animals.”

Mrs Spletter said the tree clearing was undoing the hard work volunteers at the Gumtips Nature Refuge and Ipswich Koala Protection Society had achieved.

“Gumtips has a 100 acre refuge for koalas, the first nature refuge approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for a group like ours, not a private land owner,” she said.

“Trying to stop the clearing is one thing, but we're hoping to get koalas declared as an endangered species so we can do more to protect them.”

Layla and Squeak are just two examples of the positive work Mrs Spletter and the Gumtips Nature Refuge team do to help our koalas.

Mrs Spletter urged anyone who finds an injured koala to contact the Ipswich Koala Protection Society rescue and animal ambulance on 5464 6274 or 3282 5035.


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