The 3 May is World Koala Day - and we need to make every day a World Koala Day and do what we can to help this iconic species.
Aiming to double the number of wild koalas by 2050
WWF Australia emailed to say that over half of Australia’s east coast koalas have been lost. Some local populations are extinct already. WWF Australia is asking us all for our support to double the number of wild koalas by 2050. The aim is to
- Create koala safe havens and restore up to 500 hectares of prime koala country so that they can be safe and thrive
- Restore critical wildlife corridors by planting 150,000 native trees to connect habitats for koalas to feed, shelter and survive.
- Increase vaccination against diseases such as Chlamydia (which cause blindness, infertility and death), so that koalas can maintain healthy populations.
Landowners make a home for wildlife including koalas
The Koala Clancy Foundation plants 4,593 trees for koalas in Barrabool Hills, Victoria. Funding is still required for this project so please donate! The creek near Barwon river had been cleared of vegetation and reduced to muddy dams and grass. Then, in 2017, new owners wanted to make a home for wildlife and farm cattle. With careful revegetation and protective fencing, the creek will come alive with endangered and vulnerable species and this includes koalas who have been sighted in the area! The Koala Clancy Foundation is in charge of the land-based vegetation. It’s wonderful to see new owners making homes for wildlife, so a big thank you to them! Find out more here
Building a Koala Friendly Development
Just on the northern New South Wales coast, the Australian Koala Foundation has created a koala-friendly development! It’s in association with The Ray Group. The community makes conscious compromises to lifestyles (e.g. no cats or dogs within the estate), so they can exist with koalas! It all started back in 1994, when the Australian Koala Foundation did a 12 month study of the koala population which would possibly be affected by the development. Today, Koala Beach is home to over 500 residential properties, but it is also home to koalas AND 25 species of endangered or rare fauna and flora! And out of 365 hectares, 272.395 are dedicated intact to conservation
- All the food tree and home range trees have been retained
- Traffic calming devices are at each point where it is known koalas move
- The developer planted extra trees which the Australian Koala Foundation recommended as feed trees for the koalas and other native species
What’s more, the Koala Beach Estate is now part of the curriculum in the North Coast Institute of FAFE diploma of Business and Real Estate – which could mean that developers of the future are more sympathetic and understanding of how people and wildlife (koalas) in particular can live side by side with some give from the human side.
The other good news is that Koala Beach has been hailed a success by three vital groups: developers, residents and biologists. It gives a perfect model for the co-existence of wildlife and people. Let’s hope more developments like this are equally koala friendly. Find out all about Koala Beach here
Koala Protection Act
Breeding koalas for release into the wild
There’s an update from Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on their GoFundMe page with their appeal, “Help Thirsty Koalas Devastated by Recent Fires”.
They say that Koala Conservation Australia (KCA) has developed a breed-to-release programme to rebuild koala numbers and reverse local extinctions. This has been done with Taronga Conservation Society and the Australian Museum. The goal is to breed koalas which are healthy and diverse from a genetic point of view, so that they can be released on sites on the north coast of New South Wales, an area very badly affected by the terrible wildfires a couple of years ago. The breeding facility is funded by the donations made during these Black Summer Fires (2019-2020). Find out more about it and also about Guulabaa, a visitor attraction and education precinct. It will showcase wild koalas and local Biripi culture, and it will be a nature-based stop for travellers where they can rest at the café and see the gallery. Find out more here
Creating a Koala Wildlife Corridor
Banglow Koalas’s goal is to create a Koala Wildlife Corridor. It will run across the Northern Rivers of NSW, connecting habitat, and the charity want to plant 500,000 trees by the end of 2025. They are up to 215,000 trees now and you can help wherever you are by donating - $15Aus will buy a tree! They also want to hear from people who want to join the corridor and plant trees or their property. You can donate here and they have a GoFundMe campaign
Detection Dogs hunt koala poo
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the University of Sunshine Coast (USC) Detection Dogs for Conservation (DDC) have been working on a rather amazing project to find out how resilient koalas are to natural disasters and improve conservation outcomes for the species. (August 2022) Bear and Billie-Jean have been busy. Find out more
- Victorian wildlife advocates call for moratorium on blue-gum harvesting to protect koalas (18 Sept 2022)
- Brisbane Biodiversity Seminar Koala Conservation in Action 2022 – watch on You Tube (16 Sept 2022)
- Environmentalists, NSW Forestry Corporation at loggerheads over native timber harvesting in key koala habitat (6 Sept 2022)
- Sydney “Sea of Roofs” Plan Will Wipe Out Critical Koala Habitat, Critics Say (3rd Sept 2022)