Koala vaccine will be used on 500 koalas out of the Moggill koala hospital – RCB

By May 5, 2021 June 7th, 2021 Archive

MAY 4 2021 – 4:00PM

Local News

INJURED and sick koalas from across south-east Queensland will have the latest treatment and diagnostic tools with the Moggill Koala Rehabilitation Centre having just undergone a major refurbishment.

THANKS PETE: Professor Peter Timms, the microbiologist who developed the koala vaccination, with one of the marsupials.

Koalas being treated at the centre are also receiving chlamydia vaccinations as part of a Queensland government pilot program using vaccines developed at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

It is hoped the shots will help determine the efficacy of broadscale vaccination in fighting chlamydia in koalas when they are returned to the wild.

Clearing for development, chlamydia, dog attacks and car strikes have had a calamitous effect on koalas in south-east Queensland with numbers in rapid decline in Redlands, Logan and the Scenic Rim.

In 2016 it was estimated that 600 koalas had died in dog attacks in the Redlands alone.

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the government was spending $830,000 on the Moggill Koala Rehabilitation Centre in its role as a specialist rehabilitation centre.

“Over the years the role of Moggill has evolved, as other specialist wildlife hospitals have been developed by Australia Zoo, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, and the RSPCA,” she said.

“With these three wildlife hospitals, Moggill forms what is called the SEQ Wildlife Hospital Network, and for the last five years, the Queensland government has contributed $7.5 million…”

The government has given $98,000 to the university’s chlamydia vaccination trial.

“The project plans to vaccinate up to 500 koalas presenting to several south-east Queensland wildlife hospitals for care, including Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, RSPCA Wildlife Hospital and the Moggill Koala Rehabilitation Centre,” Ms Scanlon said.

“Once the vaccine has been administered, the koalas will be returned to the wild so their health and survival can be monitored … in order to determine the efficacy in protecting the animals…”

The centre, previously known as the Moggill Koala Hospital, was opened in November 1991.

“Moggill was the first and original koala hospital that was established to respond to the high levels of injury and mortality observed in the koala populations in the 1980s,” Ms Scanlon said. “The upgrade works will ensure Moggill remains a valuable element of the SEQ Wildlife Hospital Network.”