Quantifying the impacts of fire on koalas...

Phillips, S., Wallis, K., and Lane, A.
Ecological Management & Restoration

Suprisingly little is known about the direct impacts of bushfires on wild koala populations. This paper looks at changes that occurred in koala occupancy rates across 6 spatially independent fire grounds affected during the 2019 - 20 bushfire season.  We only examined sites that we had contemporaneous (i.e. current koala gerneration) survey data for. Our reassessment of 123 field sites revealed a median reduction in habitat use by koalas of 71% when results were standardised against pre-fire survey data. This is a big number and signals a precarious future for koalas in the face of forecast increases in both fire severity and frequency as a consequence of climate change.  The paper makes several recommendations for management of surviving populations.