Mermaid Waters will play host to an event which aims to raise awareness about our dwindling koala population.
The event is the brainchild of Aldwyn Altuney, founder of Animal Action Day.
It marks the tenth anniversary of Aldwyn’s visionary initiative so it is fitting that the ten world class artists, ten incredible prizes and the driving force behind the Ten Tenors will all be rallying behind the cause.
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Event MC Lynn Santer said Australia’s most iconic and beloved marsupial, the koala, is under threat from loss and degradation of habitat, urban and semi-urban development, fire, drought, disease, road deaths, predation by dogs and climate variability (rising levels of carbon that are effectively poisoning their only food source, the eucalyptus tree).
Dr Dan Lunney, of the New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change, said koalas are being forced out of trees and on to the ground to search for food, putting them in danger.
“As koalas change trees they have to walk across the ground, if they walk across the ground they are vulnerable to dogs and if there are roads in the middle they are vulnerable to cars as well.”
Conservationists recently called on the federal environment minister to urgently declare south-east Queensland’s koala population critically endangered after numbers fell from 25,000 to 4,000 in ten years.
Ms Santer said post-mortem examinations of around 700 koalas in the region found most were “wasted” – or starving – when they died. Koala numbers have been diminishing at an astonishing rate for over a decade and while there once may have been millions of koalas, there are now less than 50,000 koalas left. Koala populations have been dropping off by up to 85% across the nation as both natural and human related threats pose risk to their lives.
Koalas have a long history, probably evolving on the Australian continent some 45 million years ago, but since European settlement, the numbers have declined so severely that extinction may be imminent Ms Santer said.
The koala is listed ‘vulnerable’ in Schedule 2 of the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
Ms Santer is working in partnership with Priscilla Presley who has signed and sent over a Shades of Elvis coffee table book as one of the prizes.
In an added attraction, renowned indigenous artist “Torry” has painted a unique and collectable creation on a surfboard, depicting the history of the koala. This magnificent masterpiece will go up for auction under the hammer of the highly-respected attorney at law, Clinton R. Smith.
For bookings click here.