Big APP-ortunity to report koala sightings in Macleay

A new app is letting residents and visitors to the Kempsey Shire report any sightings of koalas in the region to help preserve and support the endangered species.

The NSW Government has rolled out the I Spy Koala app to make it easier for the community as the koala season begins.

Kempsey Shire Council’s Manager Strategic and Asset Planning, Erin Fuller, said the app was a big improvement on Council’s traditional koala sightings online form.

“The app is an easier process for residents as all they need to do is download it, enter information about the location and condition of the koala as well as any photos,” Ms Fuller said.

Koalas have long been an important part of the Kempsey region, featuring in local Indigenous law and legend. The place name Yarrahapinni comes from ‘yarra’, the Dunghutti word for ‘koala’.

A large proportion of our region’s koala habitat has been mapped as an ‘area of regional koala significance’ under the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program.

“August through to February is the koala breeding season. They are particularly vulnerable during this period, spending more time on the ground finding a mate,” said Ms Fuller.

“Council is encouraging residents to report any sightings across the Macleay particularly during this time when more koalas are around.”

The Kempsey region is home to at least four genetically different koala populations. Genetic diversity is critical to the survival of koalas, as populations show different levels of resistance to disease.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure koalas survive into the future. This means maintaining koala habitat and reducing threats such as cars, dogs and the removal of native vegetation.

“Sightings from app users provides Council and the NSW Government with valuable information which can be used to assist with future conservation planning, help define their distribution, population and trends in the area.”

To download the app simply visit the Apple App Store if using an iPhone or for Android devices go to the Google Play Store and search for I Spy Koala.

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