Koala conservation in spotlight

MidCoast Council

Photo credit: Peter Goonan

MidCoast Council has secured over $1 million from the NSW Government as part of the NSW Koala Strategy.

“This funding recognises the MidCoast as a priority region for koala conservation,” said MidCoast Council Mayor, Claire Pontin.

“With koalas under threat of extinction in the wild by 2050, we all have an important opportunity to make a difference.”

MidCoast Council has already been working to support the local koala population through its environmental levy. This new partnership means Council now has the resources to do more as part of their Koala Safe Spaces Program.

The Koala Safe Spaces Program will begin with an effort to learn more about our local koalas, how they’re doing and where they can still be found.

This will include the most extensive koala survey ever conducted on the MidCoast. The results will help scientists better understand how to protect or restore koala habitats.

“Parts of the MidCoast region provide some of the best opportunities to see koalas in the wild,” said MidCoast Council’s Manager Natural Systems, Gerard Tuckerman.

“An important thing we can all do is report koala sightings.”

Council operates an online koala reporting form which has received over 300 sightings to date.

If you see a koala, go to Council’s website to report your observation at www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/Community/Our-environment/Environmental-Projects/MidCoast-Koala-Mapping.

Any sick or injured koalas should be immediately reported to Koalas in Care (0439 406 770) in northern parts of the MidCoast or Wildlife in Need of Care (1300 946 295) in the south.

Council will also be looking to establish “safe spaces” for koalas.

With a significant proportion of local koala populations on private land, Council will be working with local landholders to improve koala habitats.

“We applaud the work of many locals who are already doing some fantastic work tree planting and protecting the special patches of bush on their blocks. We’ll now be able to better support these efforts,” said Mayor Pontin.

“We also hope many other landholders will volunteer to get involved.”

Council would like to hear from landholders willing to host a koala dog survey team on their land. This will help determine where koala populations are.

Land owners can also volunteer to help create or protect existing koala habitats or corridors.

If you’d like to help out, visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/koalasafespaces or contact Council on (02) 7955 7777.

With koala populations declining in many parts of NSW, the MidCoast is now at the frontline of koala preservation.

This koala conservation program is possible thanks to the NSW Koala Strategy and with contributions from MidCoast Council’s environmental levy.

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