Weathering the koala augmentation dream

Dampened down by some very welcome rain this week (120mm), unless it was postponed yesterday the Eurobodalla Koala Project were setting off to look for koala pellets some 10km west of Moruya.

According the photo below from the groups draft  koala recovery strategy, pellets that appear to be fresh were found in the Womban creek area, through which the Murrah soil landscape passes, in February this year and there is also a recording of what is said to be a koala bellowing in the area on You-tube.

Europellets

While all this sounds well and good a different and arguably more productive approach would be to collect the pellets for genetic analysis, but this apparently didn’t happen. The second step would be to revert the plot grid to the appropriate size (350 metres) and see if any other pellets are found and collect data.

Regrettably this didn’t happen either because for reasons unknown the Eurobodalla Koala Project select their plot locations randomly rather than on the now accepted grid pattern.

Despite this scientific limitation, the group’s draft recovery strategy is not hindered by a lack of data when it comes what trees koalas like because it lists 11 primary, 11 secondary and 10 supplementary or useful species nominated by volunteers.

There is also reference to and support for, yet another internal NSW gov document titled ‘Koala conservation in the south east : assessment of the need for and feasibility of a population augmentation program”  ( Phillips. S. and Allen,C. Feb 2013).

Unfortunately the idea to augment the koala population seems to neglect the notion that having koalas elsewhere could assist FCNSW in their attempts to log here.

Recent calls to cull koalas in Victoria suggest there are plenty to chose from so long as genetics aren’t an issue, although there is some evidence to suggest population augmentation attempts have previously been attempted in the bio-region and these were not successful. I expect these attempts aren’t referred to in the internal document.

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