Connecting Mt Warrenheip to Mt Bunninyong

The project is helping koalas migrate between the two public reserves for the two mountians. The aim is to increase the number of trees without restricting farming practices, with trees being planted in the corner of paddocks, along fencelines, and around dams.

On-ground work 

2mountainskoalaplant

The bush on Mt Warrenheip recovered very slowly from the fires of 2012, triggering the need to create adequate habitat for the local koala population to adapt and move.

In 2014 400 trees were planted followed by a great lunch catered by the Navigators Historical Group. This was repeated in 2015 & 16 

It was pleasing to finally start some on-ground works for the project which aims to see the number of trees doubled between Mts Warrenheip and Buninyong where there are koala colonies.

The Landcare groups would like to thank the Shire of Moorabool, Department of Environment and Primary Industries and Central Highlands Water for their support

Janine with wild koala Wilma

Janine Duffy, a long time koala researcher is advising on the program and was invited to work with the local schools and speak at the Launch.  Janine and her company Echidna Walkabout have been researching wild koalas since 1998,  identifying them by their individual nose patterns. 

Janine worked with enthusiastic students earlier in the day at St Brendans Catholic School at Dunnstown, and Warrenheip Primary School, including teaching them how to identify individual koalas by the markings around their noses. 

[on right] Janine with wild koala Wilma, one of the well known koalas in the research program. 

Record all your Koala sightings!

The local community is encouraged to take photographs, particularly of their noses if possible and a longer shot of the koala in its tree which helps with identification.  

Please log any Koala sightings on Atlas of Living Australia website at http://www.ala.org.au/ so we can monitor the progress over the years.

 

 Map of the project

Koalas don’t necessarily travel in a straight line, but follow a source of food. The shaded area in the map is where the landcare group is hoping to plant thickets of native trees to help the koalas migrate between Mts Buninyong and Warrenheip.

 Landowners in the area are encouraged to contact the Landcare group if they have small areas where trees may be planted. Contact  Phil Kinghorn, Secretatary on 0429 347 935.

 

Background

The project had been proposed some years ago but never proceeded. The fires on Mount Warrenheip in 2012 highlighted the plight of koalas trapped in a small pocket of bushland, with at least one death recorded. As the mountain recovers from the fire, we need to have new animals migrate in but the open farm land in between the two mountains presents a considerable challenge and risk for koalas.

The landcare groups have formed a working group to oversee the project. The group is seeking businesses, farmers, and corporations to support the project which is expected to take up to five years to complete.