Decline causes of koalas in South East Queensland, Australia: a 17-year retrospective study of mortality and morbidity

Gonzalez-Astudillo, Viviana, Allavena, Rachel, McKinnon, Allan, Larkin, Rebecca and Henning, Joerg (2017) Decline causes of koalas in South East Queensland, Australia: a 17-year retrospective study of mortality and morbidity. Scientific Reports, 7 . doi:10.1038/srep42587


Author Gonzalez-Astudillo, Viviana
Allavena, Rachel
McKinnon, Allan
Larkin, Rebecca
Henning, Joerg
Title Decline causes of koalas in South East Queensland, Australia: a 17-year retrospective study of mortality and morbidity
Journal name Scientific Reports   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2045-2322
Publication date 2017-02-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/srep42587
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 7
Total pages 11
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Koala populations are in catastrophic decline in certain eastern Australian regions. Spanning from 1997-2013, a database derived from wildlife hospitals in southeast Queensland with N = 20,250 entries was classified by causes of morbidity and mortality. A total of 11 aetiologies were identified, with chlamydiosis, trauma, and wasting being most common. The clinical diagnosis at submission varied significantly over the observation period. Combinations of aetiologies were observed in 39% of koalas submitted, with chlamydiosis frequently co-occurring. Urogenital (cystitis 26.8%, bursitis 13.5%) and ocular (conjunctivitis 17.2%) chlamydiosis were the most frequently diagnosed representations of the infection. Approximately 26% of submissions comprised koalas involved in vehicle accidents that were otherwise healthy. Age and sex of the koala as well as season and submission period were compared for the case outcomes of 'dead on arrival', 'euthanized', or 'released' for the four most common clinical diagnoses using multinomial logistic regression models. Exploratory space-time permutation scans were performed and overlapping space-time clusters for chlamydiosis, motor vehicle traumas and wasting unveiled high risk areas for koala disease and injury. Our results suggest that these aetiologies are acting jointly as multifactorial determinants for the continuing decline of koalas.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Veterinary Science Publications
 
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