Picton Road claims another Koala

Warragamba Panorama

Picton Road claims another Koala

Posted on: 16.01.2018

It has been a sad week for the Wollondilly Koala Conservation Project with the death of one of the koalas the Project has been tracking over the last 12 months.

“Qyburn”, a young, healthy male of about three years of age was collared in October 2017, near Broughton Pass. From there, he travelled about 7 km south, crossing the Cataract River and ending up in Wilton near Macarthur drive.

Wollondilly Council’s Environmental Education Officer, Damion Stirling noted that, “This is an age that young males typically begin to disperse to establish their own territory.”

Qyburn was struck and killed by a vehicle on 5 January 2018 as he attempted to cross Picton Rd from north to south.

The area where he was killed is a known koala road strike hotspot and one of two of the highest priority areas the Office of Environment Heritage (OEH) and Council have identified for wildlife fencing and underpasses.

Mr Stirling said, “Over the last 12 months, since we have been GPS tracking koalas, it has been really interesting to see their movements.”

“There is a narrow habitat corridor that runs from Appin to Wilton and it never ceases to amaze us how far they can travel in a relatively short period of time.”

Project Officers have also been nervous as one of the other young male koalas, Rhaegar has crossed Appin Rd three times in the last two months.

“Council and the OEH are in discussions with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) about the issue and we are waiting on a formal announcement of when wildlife protection fencing will be erected in the koala road strike hotspots,” said Mr Stirling.

Council has been coordinating the Wollondilly Koala Hotline since January 2015. After receiving a Saving our Species Grant, the project expanded and under the guidance of OEH the team have tracked 15 koalas in the region, undertaken 300 spotlight surveys and completed koala habitat surveys on 60 private properties in the last 12 months.

Conservation Volunteer teams have also been out in the field every two weeks for the last few months tracking and recording information about the region’s koalas and helping to restore their habitat.

If you see a koala please call the Wollondilly Koala Hotline on 4677 1100.

If you find an injured koala please phone Wollondilly WIRES 24hr 0466 318 688, Sydney Wildlife 9413 4300 or Wildlife Rescue South Coast 0418 427 214.