Wanna come to my forum at Rosebank?
Wanna come to my forum at Rosebank? Corbis

Forum to be held for hinterland koalas

APPROXIMATELY a sixth of Friends of the Koala’s annual rescue and sighting records relate to north-eastern Lismore and the western part of Byron Shire.

Koala habitat in these areas is not covered (or intended to be covered in Byron’s case) by a comprehensive koala plan of management.

Habitat and the koala populations it supports are not considered to be at high risk.

40 koala mortalities

Nevertheless during last year over 40 koala mortalities from the area known as the [Byron] hinterland were recorded by Friends of the Koala, advanced disease being the primary cause of death.

So, what’s the state of play up in the hills?

Without the assistance of formal field studies, it’s difficult to be sure.

Paradoxically, we only learn about the status of koala populations and how they tick when they are under threat by development, be it a residential subdivision, music festival, highway or mine.

“Members acknowledge that koalas appear to be relatively safe in the hinterland where development is less acute,” Rosebank Community Inc. President Lydia Kindred said.

“They are concerned that koalas do not go the way of other areas where they have been under constant attack and finally succumbed to disease, dog attacks and road carnage.

“Being aware of the threats to their welfare, their current state of health and what we can do to help koalas thrive and grow in numbers is the reason we have asked Friends of the Koala to address our local communities on what we can all do to be part of the solution.”

Koala mortalities can be reduced

Friends of the Koala President, Lorraine Vass said koala mortalities can be reduced.

“Community education and engagement is the most immediate way of working towards achieving that aim,” she said.

Providing people with the information they need to really see what they are looking at – whether a koala looks healthy or unhealthy; why it’s important to report a koala incident immediately and how to do that; what trees to plant and where; how to get financial assistance; what people can do if they are concerned about trees being removed and so on, makes a huge difference to residents’ capacity to actively manage their koalas and to ensure they enjoy a bright future.”

Forum details

Friends of the Koala and Rosebank Community Inc. are presenting a Koala Forum focused on the hinterland’s koalas on Saturday, April 2. The forum will be held at the Repentance Creek Hall, 2989 Dunoon Road, Repentance Creek (Rosebank) between 2pm and 5pm (afternoon tea included).

A gold coin donation would be welcomed.

Contact Lorraine on 6629 8388 or president@friendsofthekoala.org for further information and registration.