26 September 2023

Vaccine trial for cuddly koalas

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The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) is hoping to increase koala populations in south-west Sydney by launching a trial using chlamydia vaccine.

Welcoming the trial, Minister for Environment, James Griffin said the focus of the vaccine trial was to help protect the species in the south-west Sydney region home to one of the few growing koala populations in New South Wales.

“Chlamydia is a serious issue for koalas, leading to blindness, infections and infertility in this precious species,” Mr Griffin said.

“This disease weakens koalas and can make them more susceptible to dog attacks and other threats.”

He said that as part of DPE’s NSW Koala Strategy and Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan, more than $600,000 would be allocated towards keeping the Campbelltown koala population free from chlamydia, including through a vaccination trial.

“Koala carers, Campbelltown and Wollondilly Council and the University of Sydney teams involved in the chlamydia vaccine trial will be able to use a new rapid chlamydia testing machine to minimise the time koalas are in care,” the Minister said.

“The NSW Koala Strategy is the single largest investment in any species in Australia, aimed at tackling multiple threats to the species and securing more habitat to protect the future of koalas in the wild,” Mr Griffin said.

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