AUSSIE Ark has vowed to forge ahead with its plans to create a colony of koalas as an insurance population as the scale of wildlife and habitat lost in the bushfire crisis continues to grow.
The Barrington-based conservation body, which already sustains a major Tasmanian devil population in the high country area, launched an appeal to get the project off the ground early last year.
The not-for-profit unveiled plans to raise $369,000 in crowdfunding in December, and has so far garnered almost $60,000 in pledges.
President, Tim Faulkner said a 5750-hectare parcel of koala habitat had already been acquired in the Barrington, but a planned beginning late this year no longer matched the urgency of the koala's plight.
"When the fires are out it is just the beginning for us," Mr Faulkner said.
The koala need habitat to go to, to feel safe.Tim Faulkner
"More work will go towards rebuilding, rescuing and protecting.
"So much has been lost already and it won't come back without help.
"There is so much focus on the rescue and rehabilitation of the burnt koalas - which is important - but we are focusing on what happens after.
"The koala need habitat to go to, to feel safe."
Mr Faulkner estimated 90 per cent of koala habitat had been lost, with the remaining portion and colonies of the marsupial exceptionally vulnerable to fires due to fragmentation.
The University of Sydney's Professor Chris Dickman on Wednesday revised an estimate of animals killed in the NSW bushfires from 480 million to 800 million, with a billion animals impacted nationally.
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