Claims Made Linking Festival to Koala Deaths

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Claims Made Linking Festival to Koala Deaths

According to a claim made by Dr Steve Phillips, Bluesfest (the blues festival located in Byron Bay) is responsible for the deaths of various koalas around the region.

Dr Phillips says: “…of 20 surveyed koalas initially found close to the site of the northern NSW festival in 2010, none were alive today”. He said “the noise from the festival, which stressed the animals and forced them to move, was the main cause of the deaths.”

Phillips also said “subsequent studies showed reports to council demonstrated the initial population had almost been wiped out”.

He further stated that of seven koalas tracked with radio collars, three located close to the festival had moved outside of their usual range and that two had been found deceased: no definite cause was determined, though it’s thought to be due to the music.

“Bluesfest are concerned by these statements, and feel the public has a right to know all the details so that they may form their own opinion. We say that there is no data that Dr. Phillips can provide scientifically that backs up his statement,” a press release from the festival states.

“Artists who headlined Bluesfest 2010 and who’s music reportedly stressed koalas include Jack Johnson, Crowded House, Jessica Mauboy, John Butler, Xavier Rudd, Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club & The Gipsy Kings.”

Furthermore, the group Dr Phillips work for, Biolink, was commissioned by Bluesfest in 2009/2010 to do the study on the koalas.

“We also note that Dr. Phillips failed to report that a collared koala came closer to the area where amplified music was occurring during Bluesfest 2010 that is listed in his 2010 study,” from presser.

“The goal of our study is to have a healthy population of koalas, which breeds healthy young and increases in numbers of a healthy colony. We are advised that this study shows healthy koala populations can be created on fragmented bush land.”

The press release outlines the study in full, if you’d like to find out more it’s worth visiting the website.