James Wright, Byron Bay
On reading Dailan’s ‘Koala Wars’ I felt compelled introduce the readers to interesting debate about the health and numbers of koala populations. At colonisation koala populations at were low, healthy, and in balance owing to 20,000 years of Indigenous burning.
The pre-colonial forest was on the main large mature trees with little leaf growth of the type eaten by koalas and so they had large territories.
Post-colonial koala populations increase in areas with dense regrowth forest because of more food and in these high-feed forests they suffer population collapse in drought or fire.
Personally, I am delighted to see koalas everywhere in North Coast rural and urban settings and regularly in Byron.
A study has been done by research scientist Dr Bradley Law, with audible recordings of male breeding calls suggesting populations healthy and widespread.