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Ep. 113: Una nuova tecnologia cerca di proteggere le popolazioni di koala

IFAW wildlife carers attending to koalas whose habitats have been destroyed by fire. Source: INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR ANIMAL WELFARE

Gli ambientalisti australiani hanno presentato un nuovo studio per monitorare la sopravvivenza dei koala colpiti da incendi boschivi e il loro habitat.

SCARICA la trascrizione col testo a fronte in inglese.    

Italian

Dopo quasi sei mesi di cura, la koala Kellie è stata riportata nella boscaglia.

Morgan Philpott, assistente alla fauna selvatica, ha dichiarato che non ha perso tempo a salire sulla cima di un albero.

"It was awesome to let her go today, we volunteer and people often ask me how much do you get paid and we don't get paid anything, that is my payment, watching her go up and it's a really amazing feeling."

Il koala è stato salvato dai vigili del fuoco da quello che è stato chiamato il mega-incendio nelle Blue Mountains del New South Wales nel dicembre 2019.

Christine e George Hennessy sono stati evacuati prima che l'incendio raggiungesse la loro proprietà sulle Kurrajong Hills.

La loro casa è stata distrutta, ma hanno scoperto un fortunato sopravvissuto.

"We met the RFS in here, this was a few days after the fire and they showed us some photos they had come in on the day of the fire after the fire had passed and clinging to a tree fern stump that remained after the fire which had been growing next to the house was a koala."

Philpott afferma che è un miracolo che Kellie non abbia subito ustioni a causa dell'incendio.

"She was very stressed as you can imagine but no physical injuries, so we had to closely observe her but thankfully that didn't happen and she came out really unscathed which is quite remarkable."

La sua liberazione farà parte di un nuovo studio sulla riabilitazione dei koala condotto dagli ambientalisti e finanziato dal governo del New South Wales.

Kellie Leigh, direttore esecutivo di Science for Wildlife, afferma che il koala verrà controllato a giorni alterni utilizzando una tecnologia di localizzazione specializzata.

"We want to make sure she does ok so we've fitted her with a radio tracking collar and we'll be monitoring her and other koalas like her to make sure that she's ok, if she needs to come back into care we'll be able to catch her, but hopefully she'll tell us a lot about how koalas use the landscape after fire."

Lo studio su larga scala seguirà i movimenti di 40 koala nella regione della Greater-Western Sydney nel corso del prossimo anno e mezzo.

Il ministro dell'Ambiente del New South Wales, Matt Kean, afferma che il progetto è un passo fondamentale per preservare la popolazione di koala in declino dello stato.

"Koalas are some of our most loved and iconic animals so that's why we need to do everything that we can to ensure that those koalas that survived are rehabilitated and able to go back into their natural environment."

Il rilascio del koala ha dato a George e Christine Hennessy una rinnovata speranza per il futuro.

"It's the highlight of our year, highlight of our lives really, it's just a beautiful ending and it gives so much more hope that there are survivors and that they can go back to the wild."

Ambientalisti e gruppi per la protezione della fauna selvatica hanno ripetutamente chiesto che i koala siano dichiarati specie in pericolo di estinzione.

Il governo del New South Wales afferma che prenderà in considerazione il parere scientifico.

English

After nearly six months in care, Kellie the koala was returned to the bush.

Wildlife carer Morgan Philpott says she wasted no time climbing to the top of the tree.

"It was awesome to let her go today, we volunteer and people often ask me how much do you get paid and we don't get paid anything, that is my payment, watching her go up and it's a really amazing feeling."
 
The koala was rescued by firefighters from what has been called the mega -bushfire in the New South Wales Blue Mountains in December 2019. 
Christine and George Hennessy evacuated before the blaze reached their Kurrajong Hills property. 
Their home was destroyed, but they discovered one lucky survivor.
 
"We met the RFS in here, this was a few days after the fire and they showed us some photos they had come in on the day of the fire after the fire had passed and clinging to a tree fern stump that remained after the fire which had been growing next to the house was a koala."
 
Mr Philpott says it's a miracle Kellie suffered no burns from the fire.
 
"She was very stressed as you can imagine but no physical injuries, so we had to closely observe her but thankfully that didn't happen and she came out really unscathed which is quite remarkable."
 
Her release will form part of a new koala rehabilitation study led by conservationists and funded by the New South Wales government.
 
Executive Director of Science for Wildlife Dr Kellie Leigh says the koala will be checked on every few days using specialised tracking technology.
 
"We want to make sure she does ok so we've fitted her with a radio tracking collar and we'll be monitoring her and other koalas like her to make sure that she's ok, if she needs to come back into care we'll be able to catch her, but hopefully she'll tell us a lot about how koalas use the landscape after fire."
 
The large scale survey will track the movements of 40 koalas in the Greater-Western Sydney region over the next year and a half.
 
New South Wales Environment Minister Matt Kean says the project is a vital step forward for conserving the state's dwindling koala population.
 
"Koalas are some of our most loved and iconic animals so that's why we need to do everything that we can to ensure that those koalas that survived are rehabilitated and able to go back into their natural environment."
 
For George and Christine Hennessy, the koala's release has given them renewed hope for the future.
 
"It's the highlight of our year, highlight of our lives really, it's just a beautiful ending and it gives so much more hope that there are survivors and that they can go back to the wild."

Conservation and wildlife groups have repeatedly called for koalas to be declared an endangered species.
 
The New South Wales government says it will consider the scientific advice.

Report by  Cassandra Bain

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