Wednesday, 18 December 2013

NSW bushfires: koala sighting gives conservationists hope

First report of the species in upper Blue Mountains for 70 years allays fears that it had been wiped out

Conservationists are hopeful that wildlife coped better with the NSW Blue Mountains fires than first feared after a koala was spotted in the upper reaches of the mountains for the first time in 70 years.

The koala was seen crossing the Great Western Highway near Wentworth Falls, which is 900m above sea level.

The sighting is the first of its kind in the upper Blue Mountains since the 1940s. It is thought that the koala, and others, managed to escape October’s fierce bushfires, which burned through about 140,000 hectares, by fleeing to areas they usually don't inhabit.

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