Some may recall the Narooma New story back in August about how ‘The Crossing‘ land education trust was getting students to plant trees for koalas. Quoting trust President and Landcare representative Mr David Newell “ . . . These eucalypt plantings will provide two locally endangered koala populations with access to higher nutrient browse and potential fire refuges due to the relatively fertile soil substrates along the Bermagui and Coolagolite rivers”.
My less than supportive response was the “No koalas in Death Valley’ letter published the following week, although based on the most recent South Coast Producers Association’s newsletter it may be that this lack of support had a positive impact.
Next week a ‘Run Your Farm Up’ Field Day on simple ways to start restoring soil fertility has been organised in Candelo and among the speakers will be Mr Newell who will be holding a ‘Brainstorming session on your ideas on innovative farm management to improve soil fertility’.
Less innovative or able to change, Harriet Swift (Chipstop, SERCA) has recently written to FCNSW in response to its request for information on koalas in Yambulla State Forest. Harriet refers to the Wildlife Atlas suggesting ‘koalas have been sighted in Yambulla State Forest‘ and based on what some-one told her at the SCPA field days koalas are ‘relatively common’ just across the border in Victoria so logging should not proceed in koala habitat’.
The map above shows all the koala records in the Eden region up till the year 2000, small pink dots are random individual records, red dots are FCNSW’s, the yellow ones come from their call-back survey (19997) and the green one’s are in Chris Allen’s name.
Most if not all of these records are not sightings although missing are the records from Chris Allen’s Numeralla surveys that Harriet participated within the circle just north of the region. Since the NSW gov has agreed where the last koalas on the far south coast are, the other issue is where the Numeralla koalas came from, given their different genetic make-up.
To a reasonable person, State Forest’s koala records in the circle prior to the surveys would suggest they knew something about these koalas but, it’s likely those involved would still argue against this suggestion, irrespective of any evidence.