Keeping Koalas by Fred Weight
If any of us had been aboard a Ship of the first fleet and had had access to accurate reports on the state of wildlife in Australia at that time, we would have learned that the estimated population of koalas was in excess of ten million.
What do we have now?
The very best estimates today put the population at a maximum of 140 000. This decline has been caused by us.
Queensland, New South Wales, and The Australian Capital Territory declared the koala an endangered species in February 2022. But still we do it!
In Queensland, a very large section of koala habitat that remains after the devastating 2019/2020 bushfires, is subject to a residential plan of “development” by a company which is being given all official authority it needs. [A regional group of the ACF (a companion group of ours), in the Moreton Bay area is fighting this. Perhaps we can help them?].
Near us, here in Victoria, we have a group near Sandy Point working hard to protect their small population of precious koalas. Up in the Strezlecki Range, another action group has decades of work behind them protecting their koalas. These koalas are unique, as they are the most genetically “pure” koalas in Australia.
In between, there is little to help koalas, or there is PACA. There is us.
I am proposing that we form as part of our “Watch for Wildlife” programme a “Keeping koalas” action Group”.
We do not yet have a lot of local knowledge about all we can do, but our basic idea is that we work to prevent further decline in numbers and indeed try to increase their numbers while we still have them in our area. If we do that, we are making a good start.
For us the simple immediate focus, has to be, to increase the population.
With that in mind, a simple concentration upon increasing habitat is immediately achievable. There are available spaces everywhere that could be planted for koalas.
One of our members, Anda, has been working tirelessly on behalf of koalas for some time now.
My house is on a large residential block in the township of Foster. Last weekend, I planted nine coast gums on my property and I gave my neighbour eight more, which he planted on his block.
Also, on the farm behind and adjacent to our properties is the watercourse which was diverted from our subdivision.
I intend to approach the property owner with the view of developing this as a corridor.
I think that there would be much to do, near where each one of us lives.
If you would like to join us working through “Watch for Wildlife”, to form and operate a “Koala Keepers” action group, please directly contact me on (firstname.lastname@example.org) .
We will then plan some sort of follow-up based on the response we receive from members.
(If you know other people who are concerned, ask them to join PACA in this work).