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:
- Saving the Friends of the Koala 24-hour rescue hotline number into your phone – 6622 1233.
- Reporting all koala sightings to the Friends of the Koala website at friendsofthekoala.org/report-a-koala-sighting/
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