• Short Summary

    By 1939, man had driven the koala almost to extinction.

    The advance of civilisation brought marauding?

  • Description

    By 1939, man had driven the koala almost to extinction.

    The advance of civilisation brought marauding foxes and wild cats - and it brought bushfires.

    The koala is an easy victim to the flames - he moves too slowly.

    The prevention of bushfires has become the role of the koala in two states of Australia today - New South Wales and South Australia.

    Smokey has appeared on television, and at shows. He appears on posters and leaflets. Preparations are already under way for the campaign this summer. Working on the poster sketch is Miss Margaret Davies, an artist with the Department of Agriculture.

    That there are koalas to sketch today is a qualified tribute to the public conscience that was stirred to action, if belatedly. The story of the fluctuating koala population is simple. Even sixty years ago, their numbers were considerable.

    By 1939 the numbers had shrunk from several millions to a few thousand. Extinction seemed inevitable, until the Preservation Scheme can into operation.

    The koala is now given a fighting chance of survival. There are still many problems. The koala is a slow breeder, usually breeding in alternate years. In its natural state, there are few that will reach middle age, let alone old age.

    He is extremely susceptible to disease.

    A further problem is diet; the food range is restricted to about a dozen eucalypts.

    Each animal eats two and a half pounds of gum leaves every day. At Sir Edward Hallstrom's Reserve at Mona Vale in Sydney, supplementary feeding is used to provide a full and proper diet.

    By providing the type of leaves the animals prefer the breeder ensures the safety of the koala. In its natural state, a koala will, if necessary, eat leaves outside its normal range.

    The result is often fatal.

    Most of the koalas for the re-stocking and establishment reserves in New South Wales are bred here at Mona Vale. Its a centre, too, for studying the life and habits of the koala.

    By nature, the koala is an inoffensive solitary; but he does resent interference.

    They had to catch one female, and a male. It was an operation demanding luck as well as skill.

    Every koala on the reserve is regularly checked to ensure it is in good condition. Sir Edward Halstrom himself keeps a close watch on the animal's health.

    Sir Edward has been prominent in the fight to save the koala.

    Two koalas were being transferred to a new home on a reserve being developed at Cowan just north of Sydney.

    A male and a female made the trip.

    They will be guarded in their new home by the New South Wales Bauna Protection Board. A close watch must be kept on the New South Wales and Queensland Koala as they are more susceptible to disease than their Victorian counterpart, and are less numerous.

    The koala population is slowly mounting. According to men like Mr. Strom, Chief Guardian of Fauna, the worst of the crisis is over.

    And more eucalypts are being planted continually to help keep Australia's koala alive.

    Each animal eats two and a half pounds of gum leaves every day. At Sir Edward Hallstrom's Reserve at Mona Vale in Sydney, supplementary feeding is used to provide a full and proper diet.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA8KVNTGCSIPU3KTZBOL467QRRX
    Media URN:
    VLVA8KVNTGCSIPU3KTZBOL467QRRX
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    01/01/1963
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:06:18:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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