CHLAMYDIA-FREE KOALAS RUN RAMPANT
KOALAS are mating their way to starvation on an island off the Mornington Peninsula and it’s all because of their STI status.
An abundance of chlamydia-free koalas on French Island could risk destroying the national park’s habitat and decimating the marsupials’ main food source, the environment department said.
“Their overabundance is due to several factors, including their chlamydia-free status and an absence of predators on the island,” natural environment program manager Vivian Amenta said.
An ideal ratio is to have one koala per hectare but in some parts of the island, there are up to eight per hectare.
“The koalas are in good health, but without intervention their overabundance will impact negatively on their welfare, ruin trees and destroy native habitat,” Ms Amenta said.
To tackle the koala conundrum, vets and environment department support staff will catch 200 females and administer a contraceptive implant.
“We are taking this action to prevent a decline in welfare of French Island koalas,” Ms Amenta said.
Despite the huge numbers of the marsupials, there are no plans to relocate them but the koalas will be monitored.
An overabundance of koalas on French Island risks destroying the national park’s habitat.