MEDIA RELEASE  

Two Mountains Koala Trail kicks off at Navigators

The Moorabool Landcare Network and the Lal Lal Catchment Landcare and Upper Williamsons Creek Landcare Groups have kicked off a program to enable easier movement of koalas between  Mts Buninyong and Warrenheip, at a community launch at the Navigators public hall

Speaking at the launch, Janine Duffy, a long time researcher on koala behaviour, said koalas moved to the nearest high vantage point when feeling threatened. This could be disastrous when that point was on the opposite side of the road when a car was coming. She supported the plan by the Landcare groups to plant more trees between the two mountains, in clumps rather than a narrow line of trees.

Ms Duffy said she was pleased to hear reports of recent koala sightings from those present at the launch, however a number of locals said that koala numbers appeared to have declined in recent time.

Ms Duffy also spoke to students earlier in the day at St Brendans Catholic School at Dunnstown, and Warrenheip Primary School, teaching the students how to identify individual koalas by the markings around their noses.

The Landcare groups are planning to conduct a tree planting day in August and are seeking support for landowners with fencing and the cost of trees and tree guards. 

President of the Lal Lal Catchment Landcare Group, Mr Lindsay Grey, said the aim was to get more trees in the landscape without affecting farming operations in the area – focusing their attention on the corners of paddocks, roadsides, and easements. He said the Landcare group would be pleased to hear from any landowner prepared to have more trees on their property. 

Ms Duffy said that while koalas universally liked Manna Gums, they were not the exclusive species, and koalas used a range of trees as a feed source and a refuge from danger and extremes of weather. She noted koalas were specially vulnerable from weather over 30 degrees and would drink from dams and other open water sources when these conditions occurred.

Mr Grey said the Landcare group would continue to seek funding for the project, and project partners for in-kind support.  “We expect the project may take five years to complete our expectations, with an extra 10,000 trees in the landscape being the group’s target”.

Lindsay Grey, President, Lal Lal Catchment Landcare Group can be contacted on 0409 956 512.

 

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