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Providing water for koalas – fact sheet now available

It had been long thought that koalas do not drink but this has now been proven wrong many times. In north-west NSW, many koalas have perished in heatwaves due to dehydration in the past 10 years and have been regularly seen drinking from dog bowls, bird baths and dams.

North West Local Land Services partnered with University of Sydney on their Koala Water Supplementation Study, led by Dr Valentina Mella. The study started 3 years ago on the property “Dimberoy” with landholder Robert Frend and is still on-going. The study set out to see if koalas would drink from provided water stations and once this was established, then collecting data on the health of the animals and their behaviours.

North West Local Land Services Senior Land Services Officer, Angela Baker, said it has been a great opportunity to contribute to the University of Sydney study and the outcome is a fact sheet with guidelines on how to set up your own drinker for koalas on your property.

“For many years, people in the Gunnedah area have been putting water out for koalas under habitat trees in ice-cream containers and dishes but this fact sheet takes it a step further by helping people set up something more permanent,” Angela said.

“With summer now here and dry conditions set to continue, we will start to see koalas and other native animals looking for a drink so this information will be very useful to land managers who wish to set up their own permanent water station”.

Hard copies will be available in North West Local Land Services Offices in the New Year but in the meantime you can download your own copy of the fact sheet.

Also available online is a tree planting list for koalas in the Gunnedah region; a Moree district planting list is also in the pipeline and will be available in 2019.

This project is supported by North West Local Land Services through funding from Catchment Action NSW in partnership with the University of Sydney.