Bushfire threatens koalas, cuts highway

Bushfire threatens koalas, cuts highway

5 December 2006

published by www.news.com.au

Australia — Wildlife rescuers remain on standby to provide veterinary care amid fears a NSW bushfire has decimated one of the nation’s most important koala colonies.

A major bushfire burning in the NSW central west has also closed more than 100km of one of Australia’s major arterial roads.

The fire, burning in the Pilliga Nature Reserve, 350km northwest of Sydney, has forced authorities to close a 118km stretch of the Newell Highway, between Narrabri and Coonabarabran.

Traffic in both directions is being redirected via Gunnedah.

Wildlife rescuers hope today they will be able to enter the fire ground, home to one of Australia’s most genetically diverse koala populations, possibly numbering in the thousands.

Taronga Zoo spokesman Mark Williams said an animal rescue team had been waiting in nearby Coonabarabran since Saturday, hoping for a safe opportunity to go into the area.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien