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How did CQ’s koalas bear brunt of Cyclone Marcia?

CENTRAL Queensland's koala population is fattening up after a lean period following Cyclone Marcia.

The loss of foliage and damage to trees from the cyclone reportedly caused a few issues for the marsupials.

Koala researcher Professor Alistair Melzer said the fuzzy residents were back in their comfort zone after weeks of food shortages.

"The areas that were affected by the cyclone would have had a strong effect on the food available to koalas. It would have been challenging for them in the first few weeks," he said.

"They would have survived but were running a bit short. There is new growth coming through quite strongly on eucalypts now. They would have gone through a lean period and now there is an abundance of good quality food."

Prof Melzer said the damage also would have resulted in increased cases of heat stress as the koalas struggled to find shade.

He said whilst the cyclone itself may have potentially injured koalas, there would be no lasting effect on the population.

"If they were in the higher category areas, they may have been affected by the force of winds and damage around them.

"They may have been injured by the storm itself, now we're in a process of rapid recovery of habitat quality... there should be no long-term impacts," he said.

Topics:  cyclone marcia koalas



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