The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital says it is supportive of a community petition to have koalas classified as an endangered species.
Clinical director Cheyne Flanagan said NSW and Queensland need to lift the conservation status of koalas in the wake of recent bushfires.
A Change.org petition has amassed more than 978,000 signatures to have the species moved up from their current threatened species status. The petition is addressed to Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley.
"It's all based on breeding populations and there has always been considered enough koalas," Ms Flanagan said.
"However the drought and fires have swept through with an enormous impact on populations of wild koalas
Ms Flanagan estimates a "couple of thousand of koalas" have been lost in the recent fires.
A federal government review is underway looking at the impact of fires on a broad range of native wildlife as well as threatened species.
"Advice from the expert panel will inform consideration by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee on the need to assess the threatened status of a species, including koalas, as a consequence of the fires," a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment said.
"These combined koala populations were listed as vulnerable in 2012, following an assessment which demonstrated a substantial decline over three generations, that is 20 years."
Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 an endangered species is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future. A vulnerable species such as Koalas is defined as facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future.
The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has already begun constructing wildlife drinking stations and planning a wild breeding program to assist koala populations, using nearly $8 million in funding from a GoFundMe campaign after the bushfires.
The hospital has so far installed 90 drinking stations with the funding but is considering another 60, and is about to announce their first breeding and research location in Port Macquarie
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and Koala Conservation Australia president Sue Ashton said there are restrictions on what the funding can be used for.
"With the GoFundMe account you must honour the purpose with which the account was created. So publicly we went out to say that we would use that money for the wildlife water drinking stations and to establish the world's first wild koala breeding program," she said.
"We are in the final stages of preparation of that program and we are in negotiations for the announcement of the first site. We are really quite excited about that.
"We are going to have three sites in total. We already have the plans drawn for what it's going to look like and they will be in the Port Macquarie region.
"In the project scoping document there is a target of 60 koalas per site and in the first year it is estimated there will be 30 joeys.
"All joeys will be for release in groups of about 10 to 12 back into the wild," Mrs Ashton said.
"They will be released into areas away from residential development, roads and motor vehicles so they have a good chance of surviving in the wild."
The group is also currently awaiting approval for redevelopment plans of the original hospital site worth $6.25 million.
The redeveloped hospital will feature a raised walkway, new rehabilitation and permanent resident koala yards, education space and Birpai storytelling space in a horseshoe shape.
Tenders are about to be released for potential architects.
"We want it to be world class and we want people who come to Australia to say 'we have got to go to Port Macquarie and see this'." Mrs Ashton said.
To join the petition, click here.
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