MidCoast Council is calling on residents to report sightings of koalas as part of a project that maps and defines the distribution, population and trends of the species across the Council region.
The project is funded by a $33,000 NSW Government grant as part of the Saving Our Species Iconic Koala Project.
"Defining the nature of our local koala populations and better understanding the range of threats affecting them will be critical to conserving the species into the future," said MidCoast Council senior ecologist Mat Bell.
“It has been widely reported that koala populations across most parts of NSW are declining. Unfortunately, this also appears to be the case for koalas across the MidCoast.”
This funding from the NSW Government will allow council to engage with the community, key stakeholders and relevant experts to identify where local koala hotspots are.
To better understand local population trends, determine the amount of habitat that is presently available and better define, and then respond to, the range of threats.
Such threats can include habitat loss as well as dog attacks, road-kills and disease.
“We are confident that this project will assist Council’s wider koala conservation and planning efforts," said Mat Bell.
The first phase of the project is to compile a database of all available koala records. In this regard, community input is being sought.
“Landholders and community members are very important sources of information. Council is asking the community to report sightings,” Mat Bell said.
You can report koala sightings via an online form on our website on this link: http://www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/News-Media/Help-us-find-koala-homes-among-MidCoast-gum-trees.
If you can’t complete the form online, please contact us on 6591 7243. Koala stakeholder workshops will also be undertaken as part of the project.
“Our long term aim is to ensure that koalas are present in the natural landscapes of MidCoast Council for many generations to come. The more people who contribute to this project, the more it will help us achieve this aim" says Mat Bell.
By conserving koalas, we are also enhancing natural landscapes for other wildlife and for a range of other benefits, such as better water quality, improved landscape amenity and recreational and tourism benefits.