Australian Reptile Park has record-breaking koala breeding season
The Australian Reptile Park’s koala conservation breeding program has had its best year ever with the reveal today of Lulu the 6 month old female joey – the first koala joey to emerge from the pouch this season. Lulu is the eldest of nine confirmed joeys this year, which makes 2017 the most successful koala breeding season in the Park’s history.
Koala numbers are decreasing at an alarming rate due to habitat loss from bushfires and land-clearing, as well as disease. Australia has one of the highest land clearing rates in the world and 80% of Koala habitat has already disappeared. The Australian Reptile Park plays a vital role in sustaining koala numbers with one of the most successful breeding programs in the country.
Australian Reptile Park General Manager Tim Faulkner states “This record breaking breeding season is welcome news for our healthy koala population. This proves that, if needed, we can establish a captive insurance program and ensure the species is not lost. Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate on the planet so The Australian Reptile Park works to get our visitors invested in the wellbeing and longevity of our native wildlife”
“The koala population in New South Wales has plummeted by a third in the past 20 years.” Faulkner continues to explain “if something drastic is not done, they are on a current trajectory to be extinct by 2050. The Australian public needs to realise that one day there will be a wild Australia without koalas, because that’s where we’re headed!”
Guests to Australian Reptile Park can visit Lulu and Lillian in the koala enclosure during the July school holidays. Lillian is often seen sleeping with Lulu cuddled in her arms or climbing the eucalyptus trees in their enclosure with baby Lulu on her back.