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Queensland Government to outsource Koala Analysis

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The Queensland government is outsourcing the analysis of koala counts to a private sector firm for the first time. Their job is  to evaluate the results from various koala counts conducted in southeast Queensland, going back to 2012.

The work will provide the first ever report on koala populations across all southeast Queensland council areas. “This will be the first time that a single report has been prepared for southeast Queensland and the first covering areas – other than Pine Rivers and the koala coast,” an Environment Department spokesman said.

“These two populations are the two key reference populations in southeast Queensland that have been systematically surveyed before.

While the previous government released the “Koala Coast” koala population count in 2012 – which included 2010 koala population figures – the current state government has not yet released 2011 and 2012 koala population figures.

Those 2010 koala population data estimated there were just 2000 koalas in the Redlands area at the time, a 65 per cent decline since 1999.

The decision to outsource analysis of the latest data was described on Tuesday as “ludicrous” by recognised koala expert Professor Frank Carrick, from the University of Queensland’s Koala Study Program.

“I think it is a particularly bad idea because the government sacked the very people who previously had been doing the calculation based in the [koala] survey data and who knew what they were doing,” Professor Carrick said.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/koala-expert-slams-queensland-government-for-outsourcing-population-analysis-20140805-100sxd.html#ixzz39Z3NWsx4


August 6, 2014
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