For no apparent reason NPWS Koala counter Chris Allen spoke on ABC regional radio the other day and while he hasn’t learnt much about koalas over the past twenty years did speak of another ‘population’ west of Moruya. He also acknowledged that the ‘southern tablelands koalas’ are ‘genetically closer’ than those on the coast but he couldn’t explain why that would be the case and a report is being prepared by Sydney Uni, so he doesn’t have to.
In the Canberra Times Allen is reported as saying “. . . It [the Monaro koalas] is a really exciting population actually. It is amazing,” OEH koala recovery co-ordinator for south-east NSW Chris Allen tells us. He says that ”most people don’t know that they’re there” and that the discovery of them even came as something of a surprise (when made some years ago) to koala experts ”because it’s just not the kind of country where koalas should be”.
The koala experts he refers to no doubt includes his good friend Dr Jim Shields who first reported in his 1997 koala recovery plan for Eden that ‘There is a well documented population in Vacant Crown Land near Numeralla.”
As indicated in the graphic, showing a fifty kilometer buffer, the claimed maximum koala dispersal range around Numeralla, Moruya and Cobargo all the circles overlap, so there isn’t much room for a separate genome unless of course people put the koalas at Numeralla.
In associated news the BDN reports on a visit from Federal Minister for Agriculture Joel Fitzgibbon to Bega to ‘speak with local farmers and members of the Bega Valley Fireweed Association (BVFA) … as part of a $20 million Federal Government funding announcement for a “war on weeds”, some of which seems destined for fireweed control projects – if Labor is re-elected in September.’
Much like how the trees have become toxic for koalas in the bioregion, the spread of toxic fireweed is likely reflect soil changes that are not considered by any government, so if nothing else they do share the same ignorance.