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March 9, 2021

Slow down to save our koalas

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Koala. Photo M Matthes.

With the welfare of koalas very high on the list of conservationist’s priorities, Ballina Council is urging motorists to slow down on the road and watch out for these furry friends.

Spring is breeding season, which means koalas are actively in search of a mate as well as their favourite food trees.

Due to increasing pressure from human activities koalas must now travel long distances along dangerous routes, including busy roads or through housing estates, when in search of new territory. This means they are at high risk of being struck by a vehicle or attacked by a dog.

In the last month several koalas have been treated by Friends of the Koala (FOK) in Ballina Shire and many more across the region. Community members can help koalas by:

Council’s Environmental Scientist Elisha Taylor says it is important that all koala sightings are passed onto regional koala carers at Friends of the Koala, regardless of whether the animal is dead, sick, injured or healthy.

‘Sometimes koalas are reported as dead on the side of the road when they are in fact alive. A mum may have a joey still alive in their pouch or hiding somewhere nearby.

‘If it’s safe, check the koala more closely or add a note to your record through the Friends of the Koala website so that a wildlife carer can attend the scene.’

As part of the Saving our Species Iconic Koala Project, Ballina Shire Council is working with other Northern Rivers Councils, Friends of the Koala, and universities to develop strategies that will support the long-term survival of the species in the Northern Rivers.

Ballina Council is investigating measures including:

  • Protecting and enhancing koala habitat in areas of highest regional priority
  • Installation of ‘koala zone’ signage and other road strike mitigation measures at priority locations
  • Improving koala rehabilitation outcomes through increased veterinary care

For more information visit ballina.nsw.gov.au/koalas


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2 COMMENTS

  1. As a wildlife carer …HATE to say it, but conserving habitat for Koalas has come way too late. In other words THEY DON’T HAVE ENOUGH CONNECTIVITY NOW. THERE IS LITTLE IF ANY VIABLE HABITAT FOR KOALAS IN BALLINA NOW. Councils were neglectful & ignorant and showed NO serious desire to PLAN FOR WILDLIFE , which was necessary decades ago, not last year. UNTIL OUR SPECIES LEARN THAT WE ARE NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT SPECIES ON THE PLANET WE ARE ALL DOOMED. Wildlife have a purpose, they contribute to the health & sustainability of this planet…WE DON’T. In fact we do the opposite & we don’t learn from our destructive behaviour. Putting up road signs IS NOT ENOUGH, councils (all councils) need to limit development/have legislation that prohibits cutting down native trees/ have caveats on dogs & cats in certain areas/ gets the community involved in education campaigns so they KNOW what is a healthy Koala/ what is a baby ( this is not easy to know) get the community planting Koala trees etc etc

  2. This is another reason why we need to get smart water technologies for our region instead of building last century’s dam at Dunoon. The dam would destroy koala habitat and sever movement pathways. Koalas are in serious trouble and we can’t do this. There are alternatives to the destructive dam, such as roof water harvesting, purified recycled water, and green-powered desalination.

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