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Tree planting vital for koala survival

Gunnedah’s koalas are about to get a helping hand with North West Local Land Services initiating a major revegetation project along the banks of the Namoi River.

“We will provide funding through the NSW Government’s Catchment Action to plant around 800 seedlings near the Gunnedah Sale Yards Travelling Stock Reserve (TSR),” explained Senior Land Services Officer, Reegan Walker

This comes after a report commissioned by the organisation identified that with the increasing temperatures, koalas are requiring drinking water from places like the Namoi River.

“Studies are finding that koalas in this region need drinking water on a regular basis which is against traditional doctrine which says that koalas don’t require free water.”

The same report identified areas for tree planting so that koalas would be able to access water without crossing open areas which can leave them vulnerable to attack by predators.

“Like many other Australian marsupials, koalas are vulnerable when crossing open ground so this project aims to provide the local population with a means to access water safely by providing a corridor of trees to the Namoi River.”

Special committee formed to assist koalas

Another outcome of the report is that a special sub-committee has been formed to provide direction on how best to assist and promote Gunnedah’s local population of koalas.

Under the title of “Project Koala,” the sub-committee of Gunnedah Urban Landcare Group is meeting monthly with volunteers from the local community, industry and government representatives collaborating together.

“Gunnedah’s koala population has experienced a dramatic population crash over the past decade with disease and high temperatures suspected as the main contributing factors.”

This sub-committee will provide advice and support on how to best stabilise the population while increasing the profile of the species in the local area.

“North West Local Land Services and the sub-committee are working together to achieve positive outcomes for Gunnedah’s local population of koalas,” said Reegan.

For further information contact: Reegan Walker 6742 9216 or 0429 048 867