News

AIDS-like virus killing local koala population

GRIM FUTURE: A male koala at the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital suffering from the retrovirus. The virus has escalated in Ipswich.
GRIM FUTURE: A male koala at the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital suffering from the retrovirus. The virus has escalated in Ipswich. Contributed

DESPITE their best efforts, this little boy had to be put to sleep by veterinarians at the RSPCA's Wildlife Animal Hospital on Tuesday morning.

Staff didn't even have time to name him - they knew his battle against the deadly retrovirus, or "koala AIDS" - was already over.

RSPCA Queensland media spokesman Michael Beatty says the virus usually lies dormant in most Queensland koala populations but is now being seen more often.

"There has been a lot of research into what has caused this which suggests it is caused by increased stress because of habitat destruction and dog attacks," Mr Beatty said. "Koala Immune Deficiency Syndrome (KIDS) is an AIDS-like virus that leaves koalas more susceptible to disease and cancers."

RSPCA Wacol wildlife vet nurse Madeline Rienecker said there was still more research about retrovirus to be done. She said the main reason it was more prevalent was due to habitat fragmentation.

"In a way, it's kind of like AIDS so death does not usually occur directly from retrovirus - rather it comes from secondary infections like chlamydia," Ms Rienecker said. "We can't really prevent the spread."

Ipswich City Council Planning and Development Committee chairman Paul Tully said council was committed to the protection and preservation of local koalas.

"An area of more than 225sq km or 21% of all land across the city is protected under the Ipswich Planning Scheme as conservation zones," Cr Tully said.

"A further 71sq km of green space is also protected through recreation and other open space zones."

Cr Tully said council is currently reviewing the Ipswich Nature Conservation Strategy which will include measures for future koala habitat management and protection.

"Landholders can seek guidance from koala groups such as Ipswich Koala Protection Society and Australian Koala Foundation on how to reduce threats to koalas on their properties," he said.

If you find a sick or injured koala put a washing basket or box over them and phone the RSPCA or a wildlife carer

Phone the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL, the Ipswich Koala Protection Society on 0417604761, FAUNA on 1300328621, ONARR on 30302245, ARROW on 0430904415 or Queensland Parks and Wildlife on 1300130372

Topics:  koalas conservation




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Pisasale to deliver infrastructure windfall in budget

REVEALED: Mayor Paul Pisasale is talking it up ahead of today’s budget announcement.

Mayor to spend up on big ticket infrastructure items

Park tribute for local couple lost in flight MH370

HONOURED: Rodney and Mary Burrows were lost when Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared.

A memorial has been erected for Rod and Mary Burrows

No-fuss Samsung tablet a winner for kids and commuters

Get this Samsung tablet for FREE with a local news subscription.

THIS is one handy addition to your device line-up.

Latest deals and offers

Teresa Harding for Blair

LNP candidate for Blair Teresa Harding outlines why voters should elect her in the...

Jonathan Emms for Blair

Jonathan Emms is running as an independent candidate for Blair.

Vivid timelapse

Screenshot from timelapse of Sydney's Vivid Festival

This timelapse shows Sydney's Vivid Festival

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%