State environment minister Robyn Parker has announced ‘harvesting exclusion zones’ will be created for koalas in Bermagui, Murrah and Mumbulla State Forests. The as yet unknown areas are said to total 2,800 hectares or, at 100 ha per home-range and given koalas only occupy half of the available habitat at any one time, enough space for 14 koalas.
The ‘exclusion zones’ are part of a $1.9 million federal biodiversity ‘grant’ to support an as yet undefined six year NSW government program ‘to help protect koalas’ on the far south coast.
Exactly how much of the federal funds will go to FNSW is also unclear although compensation is required under the RFA’s and ‘Forests NSW would also receive assistance identifying alternative timber supplies from suitable areas of state forests, Ms Parker said.’ Whatever that means.
According to Ms Parker ‘this funding will help strike a balance between koala conservation and a sustainable native timber industry for the region.’ Although as the total area of Bermagui Murrah and Mumbulla SF’ is around 11,800 ha and koalas get a quarter of it, the balance would seem to be toward FNSW and the logging industry.
Perhaps the release of further detail on how the NSW government’s ideas will give koalas a chance to survive will assist in understanding how they propose to make koalas thrive.