A wildlife preservation society in Australia has voiced grave concerns for a vital koala population on Tuesday, after a devastating wildfire tore through the township of Salamander Bay, 200 km north of Sydney.
Beginning on Monday evening, dozens of fire crews battled the 80 hectare blaze through the night trying desperately to protect property and wildlife.
Despite their best efforts, it's estimated around 16 hectares of the Mambo Wetlands, an important koala habitat, was destroyed.
"It has a viable breeding population and it's central to all the other habitats," senior carer at the Port Stephens Koalas & Wildlife Preservation Society Simone Aurino told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"It's a really, really essential habitat."
But while the inferno has now been brought under control, the long-term effects may continue to disrupt the local koala population for some time to come.
"They're going to move across roads, we're going to have animals in backyards having encounters with dogs, we're going to have them on the roads getting hit by cars," Aurino said.
"It has the potential to wipe out the population in this area, it's really quite devastating."
"The habitat's been changed, so the animals are going to move."
Although the experience has been traumatic for the koala rescue group, there was one bright spot.
A team was able to rescue one distressed koala "seen clinging to a blackened tree."
Believed to be suffering from "burnt paws," rescuers were able to make it to the koala in time and the cuddley creature is now being recovering.