University of the Sunshine Coast microbiologists Professor Peter Timms and Dr Adam Polkinghorne have been conducting a field trial over the past year involving wild koalas roaming in their natural habitat in the Moreton Bay region.
University of the Sunshine Coast microbiologists Professor Peter Timms and Dr Adam Polkinghorne have been conducting a field trial over the past year involving wild koalas roaming in their natural habitat in the Moreton Bay region. Luka Kauzlaric

Vaccine for randy koalas not enough to save them

A NEW vaccine which may treat the disease plaguing koala populations will do nothing to ensure survival of the iconic species unless its habitat is protected, according to activists.

University of the Sunshine Coast microbiologists Professor Peter Timms and Dr Adam Polkinghorne have been conducting a field trial over the past year involving wild koalas roaming in their natural habitat in the Moreton Bay region.

Thirty koalas received the vaccine for chlamydia and 30 remained unvaccinated as a control group. All 60 koalas were fitted with radio collars so they could be monitored.

Prof Timms said the vaccinated animals all showed good immune responses to the vaccine and, importantly, decreased chlamydia infection levels compared with the unvaccinated controls.

However, Australian Koala Foundation president Deborah Tabart, while pleased with the success of the trial, said habitat loss remained the biggest threat.

Ms Tabart said the assault at national and state level on environment laws driven by the mining and property sectors was ongoing and could ultimately lead to the species' demise.

Prof Timms said his team's research, which began at the Queensland University of Technology, had been funded by two Australian Research Council Linkage grants totalling more than $550,000 and had received significant support.



ROLL ON: Travel dreams alive and well for local grey nomad

Premium Content ROLL ON: Travel dreams alive and well for local grey nomad

Bundaberg retiree Gaylene Seeney has been travelling around the state and country...

FULL LIST: Bundaberg Magistrates Court appearances today

Premium Content FULL LIST: Bundaberg Magistrates Court appearances today

Here is a list of matters listed at Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

REGISTER NOW: Portal for pilot program launched

Premium Content REGISTER NOW: Portal for pilot program launched

How you can get involved with the Carbon+Biodiversity Pilot program.