We can’t underestimate the importance of protecting our koalas. The Southern Highlands is home to 10% of the total number of koalas remaining in the wild State-wide, and we’ve secured $1 million in State Government funding toward maintaining that precious, local population.
Koala Officer Casey Taylor of Wingecarribee Shire Council said the funds are a much-needed boost for the efforts underway to preserve our koalas.
“More than six years has been invested in critical programs to understand and protect the local koala population and their corridors. This funding will support the massive amount of work still to be done.”
“Wingecarribee Shire is one of the most important strongholds for koalas in the state and with these funds, we can continue our efforts to conserve vital koala habitat, improve the health and safety of the species, and build our knowledge through monitoring programs.”
The Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project has shown that through increased education, and by working together with the community we can sustain this precious, endangered native wildlife into the future. Council works alongside our region’s dedicated wildlife carers to support care and rehabilitation and facilitates education sessions. Biannual plant giveaways of preferred feed trees to Land for Wildlife properties improves habitat on private land. The past three years of monitoring, in addition to community reported sightings, helps us to understand better where these cryptic animals are living and dispersing.
The funding will be spent over the next four to five years through the following funding arrangements:
- $600,000 over the next four years to continue Council’s highly successful Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project through the NSW Koala Strategy Regional Partnership
- $150,000 to improve koala habitat and corridor mapping, as a first step to develop a Koala Plan of Management
- $165,000 for Variable Message Signs, Vehicle Activated Signs and communications to improve driver awareness and behaviour on key roads which intersect koala habitat, and
- $100,000 for koala habitat restoration on private land.
“This is a positive step towards the continued preservation of this iconic Australian species,” Council’s Administrator Mr Viv May PSM said. “It ensures the great work the local community has done, together with Councils’ Environment and Sustainability Team, will continue into the future.”
“We thank the NSW Government and the Minister for Environment and Heritage James Griffin for their continued support of this vitally important initiative,” Mr May added.
Landowners interested in protecting and improving existing koala habitat or corridor linkages on their property can connect with Council’s Land for Wildlife team and can look forward to information sessions coming up in February. Subscribe to our e-news and follow us on socials for details.
To learn more about the Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project visit wsc.nsw.gov.au/koalas or phone 4868 0888.