New signage at Goonengerry to save koalas

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There are speed zones in school areas and now there’s a koala zone on Mafeking Road at Goonengerry with the key message to drivers being to slow down.

Council staff have installed new signage on either side of the Byrangery Grass Reserve at Goonengerry to alert and remind drivers to look out for koalas.

The signage, funded by the NSW Koala Strategy 2018-21, includes two 6m x 7m road markings, as well as signs picturing a mother koala with a joey on her back.

Council’s Biodiversity Officer, Liz Caddick, said the signage is large, bright and different to standard wildlife signs with the aim being to catch the attention of drivers – both locals and visitors to the area.

“This part of Mafeking Road is known koala habitat with breeding females regularly seen which is just a wonderful thing,” Ms Caddick said.

“Unfortunately koalas and cars don’t mix and recent upgrades to the road have locals concerned about an increase in speeding and the impact this could have on the resident koalas,” Ms Caddick said.

“The Goonengerry Landcare group approached us to see if something more could be done and with the help of the community we identified sites for signage and went to the NSW Government in May this year with a request for funding.

“We’re grateful the NSW Government has recognised the importance of this project to the community and the new signage is the result which is terrific.

Traffic counters were in put in place prior to the installation of the signs to gather data on their impact on driver behaviour and staff will be monitoring this over the next several months.

New signage will also be installed on Grays Lane at Tyagarah and Bangalow Road.

With Spring just around the corner, drivers in Byron Shire are reminded that koalas are on the move especially around dusk and dawn.

People who accidently hit a koala, or who find an injured koala, or other native animal, should call WIRES on 1300 094 937.

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