Wollondilly Koala’s Alive and Healthy
Posted on: 10.05.2016
“We have successfully found Koala’s as part of the Wollondilly’s first ever official Koala Survey. We knew there were Koala’s out there but we really had no idea of how many and where they were located!” said Damion Stirling, Wollondilly Council’s Environmental Education Officer.
Working in partnership with the Office and Environment and Heritage (OEH), Wollondilly Shire Council engaged the services of 2 wildlife ecologists to undertake systematic spotlight surveys in Appin, Broughton Pass, Douglas Park, Wilton and Pheasants Nest and “WE CAME UP TRUMPS.”
“Our small teams carried out the surveys over 4 nights, guided by our intrepid wildlife ecologists, starting late in the afternoon and working into the wee hours of the morning. We selected the survey sites based on a number of factors including; the locations of previous Koala sightings, the existence of their food trees and preferred habitat and corridors linking to existing populations,” said Damion.
A total of 58 sites were surveyed with a staggering 12 sites (>20%) containing Koala’s. The result is a strong indicator that there is a healthy, thriving population residing in the region. All Koalas sighted seemed to be in very healthy condition and both males and females were found in a variety of different habitats, forest types and eucalypt species with a range of ages from teenagers through to mature adults. Numerous Koala scratching’s were also found and 2 other threatened fauna species including a Squirrel Glider and a Masked Owl in two localities.
“The results of this pilot survey are very exciting, however it does highlight how much we don’t know about our cute and cuddly furry friends and it is essential that we extend our survey efforts,” said Damion.
Wollondilly Council are awaiting feedback on a recent grant submission to the Saving Our Species (SOS) program which could provide much needed funds to complete a comprehensive survey.
If anyone sees any signs of Koala’s in your area of the Wollondilly please contact the Wollondilly Koala Hotline and let us know 4677 1100.
For more information contact Damion Stirling, Environmental Education Officer, 4677 1122.