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Koala Country

Community spotlight: Ricardo Lonza | Koala conservationist

09 Dec 2019
Community & partnerships

Ricardo founded Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown. In 2019, he was named Campbelltown’s citizen of the year.


Ricardo Lonza


"It all started when I moved to Campbelltown and saw my first koala in my backyard.

Until I moved to Campbelltown, I didn’t even know there were koalas around. When I saw one in my backyard, I contacted Professor Rob Close who advised me the koala that I spotted was a female named Alexis. He told me she was seen regularly in the area.

For 23 years, Professor Rob Close has been monitoring the numbers and quality of life of koalas living in the Macarthur region. He told me that they’re a lucky colony, as they’re disease-free.

I was surprised to hear this, so from that day on I made it my mission to help save the wildlife and bushlands in Campbelltown. To know that we have the only known disease-free koala population was an even bigger reason to protect them.

We must #saveourkoalas before it's too late.

I started running the Campbelltown Wildlife and Bushlands Protection Facebook page in 2013. I wanted it to be the voice for our beautiful wildlife and bushlands in the Macarthur region.


Ricardo Lonza


Since then I have also founded the Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown volunteer group. We provide a 24-hour support and rescue service for sick and injured wildlife found or reported in the community.

I regularly patrol known koala areas where they attempt to cross roads. Sadly, many koalas are hit by cars in this region. I give talks and raise awareness about these koalas who have been killed crossing roads. It is essential to encourage motorists to drive carefully in areas where koalas are moving around.

I was absolutely shocked to be named Campbelltown’s citizen of the year for 2019.

I’m hoping that we can use this honour to make a stronger fight in protecting the wildlife and their habitats.”