About OWAD and The Koala Detection Dogs

Just how many Koalas do we have left in Australia? Estimates range from 43,000-80,000 to several hundred thousand! We do know that they are in trouble.

Will Koalas go the same way the Tasmanian Tiger – the last one dying alone in a zoo?

We all know that this beautiful creature is very picky and will only eat certain types of Eucalypts. Therefore, without these special trees, we will have no Koalas.

Just how bad is land clearing in Australia? Well in 2017-2018 NSW, the latest figure is 27,000ha. It was around 20,000ha in 2016-17 and 13,000ha in 2015-16. It has been rising in the last 3 years, yes. But wait until you read on.

In Queensland, the latest figure released is a staggering 392,000ha in the year 2017-2018. On par with previous two years (356,000ha in 2016-17 and 390,000ha in 2015-16).

That is over 1 million hectares in the last 3 years alone. Hard to comprehend, isn’t it.

Current clearing rates of native vegetation in Queensland equate to 1,000 rugby fields each day. Yes, one THOUSAND each DAY.

These days, Queensland alone account for up to two-thirds of Australia’s total loss of native forests each year.

Queensland is on par with the forest clearing rates in Brazil…

In April 2012, koala populations in Queensland, NSW and ACT were listed as vulnerable to extinction under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

But how do we manage what forest we have left and how do we find Koalas that are at risk of having their homes bulldozed to make way for roads, housing estate or even parkland.

This is where Missy and Taz come in. They are the Superdogs of Koala Conservation!

Dig-In is proud to support OWAD and the Koala Detection Dogs. Here’s how!

There are two Koala detection dogs in the team and their handlers. Taz and Missy are two beautiful field line English Springer Spaniels. In order for them to carry out their important jobs, they need to be kept in peak condition, hence Dig-In.

Taz and Missy roam up to 30km a day in forested areas looking for Koala scat (droppings). The two dog team and their handlers help to guide decisions and gather data for numerous companies and government bodies across Australia in regards to Koala populations and habitat.

The two dogs can work full time for up to 6 days a week, their powerful noses scenting Koala scat so much more efficiently than their human counterparts – In fact, in one trial they pair out sniffed humans by 378%. That’s impressive!

With such an important task resting on their shoulders, Dig-In is the perfect health partner that keeps them going.

You can read more about our involvement with OWAD and Missy & Taz on our blogs – here.

Want to Lean more…

You can catch up on all the great work and the all the adventures of Missy and Taz by clicking on the below links.

OWAD Website – http://www.owad.com.au/

Koala Detection Dogs Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/koaladetectiondogs/