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Will Koala’s Noses Save Them from Extinction?

August 5, 2014 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

Koala Researcher and Wildlife Tour Operator Janine Duffy, from Melbourne, Australia, has been invited to speak at prestigious wildlife conference, Pathways 2014*, in Colorado, USA, 5 – 7 October 2014.

wild koala “Karen” – part of our research project

Duffy, who runs the successful Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours, will be presenting a paper on koala conservation, and in particular her revolutionary method of identifying koalas in the wild, through their nose markings.

Her research was brought to the attention of Assistant Professor Dr Jeff Skibins from Kansas State University who, along with his colleague Asst Professor Dr Peg McBee, co-wrote this important paper which could help save koalas from the extinction predicted by experts.  Duffy has been using this special method of identifying koalas in one of Australia’s few stable populations of wild koalas, Victoria’s You Yangs Range, since 1998. Her research offers a low-cost, non-intrusive tool for measuring wild koala movements and population size. The method will save governments and scientific organisations tens of thousands, and will open up opportunities for public involvement in conservation efforts to save the vulnerable marsupial.

Koala Researcher Janine watching wild koala “Truganina”

Pathways is one of the most significant global wildlife conferences. Organised by Colorado State University, speakers include some of the most respected wildlife experts in their fields. Duffy says she is delighted to have an opportunity to put Australian conservation on the world agenda.

“This is a golden opportunity to highlight Australia, koalas and the role of sensitive wildlife tourism in conserving wild animals.” Duffy says. “Australia is leading the way in this field, and I am determined that conference delegates will be talking koalas and Australia for months to come!”

Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours is a mission-driven social enterprise that offers conservation programs and wildlife tours for international travellers, local volunteers and educational groups. All tours and programs contribute to koala protection, through research and habitat creation. Their “Make a Home for Clancy Koala” program removes over 30,000 invasive weeds every year, which opens up new habitat for koalas and other wildlife.

Koala Researcher Janine with guests and wild koala

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