Back into the wild: Maverick returns home


On Tuesday, May 17 we accompanied Dr Rebecca Larkins from the Ipswich Koala Protection Society for the release of a rehabilitated male koala, Maverick. Maverick was released into an area of recently restored native bushland, which Conservation Volunteers Australia Bushfire Recovery and Resilience crews have been working on during the past year.


Koala release in somerset

Dr Larkins carries Maverick home


In early April 2022, Maverick was taken into care at RSPCA by local wildlife rescuer Trudi Trims due to a cystitis infection. “Wet bottom” is a common symptom of Chlamydia, a bacterial infection carried by many koalas. While many koalas will carry this disease but show no symptoms, scientists believe that stress caused by poor health and habitat loss can cause the infection to become problematic. Thankfully, after nearly two months of treatment, Maverick recovered from his cystitis infection and was released back to his habitat.

Sadly, many other koalas Australia-wide are not as lucky as Maverick. Due to habitat loss, fragmentation & climate change, experts predict that koalas could become extinct in the wild before 2050 without urgent intervention.  

That’s why Conservation Volunteers Australia, through our Somerset Citizen Science project, is dedicated to working with experts and communities to develop education and research and build a community of citizen scientists to help restore habitat, monitor activity and save our wild koalas.

With expert guidance, CVA citizen science volunteers in Somerset can learn to monitor wildlife, including our koalas, through non-invasive methods. Gaining skills and experience to provide researchers and organisations with important on-ground information about the health of local koala populations, they support important decision-making processes through taking action for nature.



We want to work with the communities to monitor the health and movement of local koalas, including Maverick, in the upcoming breeding season. This will help us to assess the impact of our recent habitat restoration works and provide vital information to koala rescuers about the health of the local Somerset koala communities. 

The Somerset Citizen Science project is about connecting communities and the environment. Over a four-month period starting June 4, we’ll be holding a series of events where people can take part in koala surveys, bird and mammal surveys, hands-on habitat restoration and native plant propagation, as well as learning how to create habitat for wildlife in their own backyards. Those who wish to become a Conservation Volunteers Australia Citizen Scientist will learn lifelong skills in habitat restoration and native animal monitoring, helping them become leaders in their community and stewards of nature.

Our Somerset Citizen Science opportunities don’t end with on-ground volunteering opportunities. In April 2022, we deployed a series of remote sensor fauna camera traps into the area of bushland that Maverick now calls home. These camera traps record the comings and goings of native and invasive species in the area, and we’re inviting Citizen Scientists from all over Australia to get involved in monitoring how our habitat restoration works are impacting the health of local wildlife. Conservation Volunteers Australia has a dedicated page on the  Australia Museum Digivol Wildlife Spotter platform that allows people to log in and identify animals photographed on our camera traps.  

Anyone in the Somerset Regional area and surroundings are welcome to join us for our family-friendly events and connect with your community, wildlife & nature by becoming a Citizen Scientist in Somerset. 


Koala release Somerset


Want to help make more great things like this happen?


Begin your Citizen Scientist journey today.



This project is proudly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). 



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