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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Tweed residents asked to help save the koala

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Tweed residents are being encouraged to play a vital role in monitoring local koala populations following a disturbing report by the World Wildlife Fund that found 71 percent of the NSW North Coast’s koala population had been devastated by 2019/20 bushfires.

Since establishing the Tweed Shire Council online koala sighting portal in 2017, more than 530 sightings by the community have been recorded on the database.

Tweed Council is asking locals to help save the koala by reporting sightings of the threatened species via its website. Image supplied

The Council’s senior program leader for biodiversity, Scott Hetherington, said the information supported data from the three- yearly Tweed Coast monitoring program which is used to manage habitat areas and reduce threats.

‘We have been fortunate to have avoided the devastating fires of 2019/20 which decimated habitats elsewhere in NSW,’ Mr Hetherington said.

‘By going online and reporting sightings, it helps us to compile information about populations, where they are and what measures we might need to take to help protect them.

‘The online database is an easy way everyone can be involved and do their bit to help protect these endangered animals.’

Mr Hetherington said while there had been a focus on koalas on the Tweed Coast, recent monitoring had confirmed that the region was fortunate to have good levels of koala activity throughout the shire.

‘Spring is when koalas are on the move and at risk from dogs and cars. They can end up in strange locations,’ he said.

‘It’s also when mums have their joeys with them so it’s important to drive with care, especially in koala zones.’

He said there had been a few ‘surprise spots’ where sightings had been recorded such as around Terranora and Banora Point.

‘Given that these areas are busy urban centres, the current sightings are largely unexpected and we need to make the local community aware of the need to take measures with pets and on the roads to protect them,’ he said.

‘We are lucky to be living in a region where we can live alongside koalas so it’s crucial to do what we can to ensure their survival.’

To report a koala sighting go to www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/koalas

To report a sick or injured koala call Friends of the Koala on 02 6622 1233.

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  1. Well, it is not the number of koalas now, it is the number of breeding pairs. male to female.
    That means a community education program needs to be established where people need to know which is a female and which is a male koala In captivity, koalas need to be put together to breed. Breeding programs happen with the Panda bear in China. They must breed,and the Ko9al must breed otherwise with more bushfires the koala in Australia will become extinct very soon.
    As the number of koalas lessen there is a chance of inbreeding and that brings on malformities and unhealthy animals. So the decrease in numbers has to be halted or the koalas that are produced will be unhealthy and die from inbreeding. The disease Chlamydia also will hit the koala hard and wipe them out the less number their are. The extinction warning is closer than you think. Remember the Tasmanian Tiger. It is just a memory.

  2. As Koalas are now forced to live in these urban areas (like Banora Point) this means sadly they are already endangered. Koalas and humans can not ‘live together’ UNLESS you have areas where no pets are permitted & speed limits reduced and viable habitat remains. Otherwise, the Koalas will lose out as has been historically the case. Seems we don’t learn from the error of our ways, or we would have a much healthier diversity of wildlife. Think about this, the LNP Govt is STILL arguing about ‘protecting’ Koalas, when they are now facing extinction……WTF? The recent push back from the mindless Nats proves that, to many elected politicians all that matters is profit & votes.The recent SEPP regulations that the Nats spat the dummy over doesn’t even require farmers to plant a tree & it won’t impact on their routine businesses.It simply requires more protection for a diversity of native trees & a DA for massive developments.REMEMBER THAT LOCAL COUNCILS CAN STILL OVER RIDE THIS ‘PROTECTION’. So much for seriously saving our beloved Blinky.

  3. Crazy that Byron Council doesn’t have similar – Clarence also has a koala register and its an excellent resource. Something sorely needed in Byron Shire.


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