Give koalas a chance
Australia's leading koala expert, Dr Steve Phillips (with over 40 years of experience in koala matters), has announced that the Black Rocks (Pottsville) sports field is one – if not the most - important koala recovery location on the Tweed Coast. It supports the most southern currently known resident koala population, and is ideally placed to accommodate both north-south and east-west koala movement.
To date 2,256 concerned citizens have signed a submission in support of revegetation of the Black Rocks sports field (as recommended by Dr Phillips and three other ecologists). This would strengthen the existing significant stands of primary koala food trees adjacent to the site and stop the koala-impactive activities which persist in the middle of a koala breeding area.
It is ideal for 'gap filling' in order to reduce habitat fragmentation and will create a strong effective habitat block crucial to the survival of koalas which need to range safely over long distances in order to disperse gene diversity and prevent in-breeding, disease and death.
The Black Rocks sports field is surrounded by core koala habitat which is home to three threatened species (koala, bush stone-curlew and osprey), a koala breeding hub and is one of three koala hotspots on the Tweed Coast. Over the last three years there have been 34 koala sightings in the area, with documented evidence of significant daytime on-ground koala activity (including breeding).
With an estimated 140 koalas left on the Coast, there is no room for complacency. Two Black Rocks koalas (one captured in a tree on the edge of the access road in a breeding area) were euthanased this year, suffering from the stress-related disease Chlamydia. We cannot afford to lose any more.
There is extensive casual open space easily accessible to the Black Rocks community (ie walkways, cycleways, pocket parks, the creek and the beach). The sports field is rarely used for sport, and because of its isolated location, has become a haven for those with ill intent. Given the challenges the Tweed Coast koalas face, they need the sports field site more than we do.
This video shows a mini bike hooning through a koala breeding area on 25 September 2014 at the Black Rocks sports field during breeding season whilst the lockable koala/dog-proof gate was open, which is an example of the koala-impacting activities at this site. WATCH VIDEO >
This video shows a resident koala foraging in a tree on the eastern edge of the Black Rocks sports field about one and a half years ago, in close proximity to where koala-impacting activities have been evidenced. WATCH VIDEO >