Koalas face many threats and risks to their safety and wellbeing. Even in seemingly stable landscapes, they can be exposed to difficulties and pressures, which increase their stress. Stressed koalas are more prone to disease, reduced breeding success and risks of car strike or dog attack. The focal point for safeguarding koala populations across the MidCoast region is to provide more safe spaces. A koala safe space is an area of land that is established and managed in such a way that it contributes positively to the health, wellbeing and long-term conservation of koalas. They are places for wild koalas to live, breed, shelter and move. Koala safe spaces can occur in rural and urban areas, on private and public lands. They can span anything from single trees in paddocks or yards, to corridors or stepping stones of habitat, to large blocks of remnant bushland. Koala safe spaces can be incorporated into working farms, forest management, residential developments and other land uses.
Many local landholders are already planting trees and protecting special patches of trees and bush on their properties. This is valuable even in urban areas. A partnership of MidCoast Council, MidCoast 2 Tops Landcare and Hunter Local Land Services has secured funding from the NSW Koala Strategy and is looking to work with landholders to create new and improved koala safe spaces across the region.
If you have a koala safe space or have an opportunity to create a koala safe space on your land and are interested in the program, please fill in the Koala Safe Spaces Form on Council’s website. Funding may be available to assist your efforts and activities associated with planting new koala habitat, conserving areas of koala habitat, controlling weeds that impact koala habitat, delivering koala friendly bushfire management or reducing threats to koalas.
The largest survey of koalas ever undertaken is being delivered across the MidCoast and Council is also seeking landholders interested in hosting koala surveys to develop important knowledge. Council is requesting that all observations of living or dead koalas be reported via the online koala reporting form available on Council’s website.
Even if you cannot provide a safe space on your own property, there are other ways to be involved. This includes sharing knowledge or learning more about koalas on the MidCoast and participating in citizen science and monitoring programs. We know that the community has fantastic new ideas about spreading koala awareness or better protecting local koalas. If you have any new ideas, please share them with us via the koala safe spaces form.
For more information please visit the website (midcoast.nsw.gov.au/koalasafespaces) or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.