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NSW Government announces koala reserves in attempt to reverse declining populations

NSW Government announces koala reserves in attempt to reverse declining populations
May 7, 2018

In an attempt to reverse the decline in koala populations - which have fallen by more than 25% in the past 20 years - the NSW Government has announced a  $45 million intervention package that will set aside areas of forest for reserves.

The measures include almost 25,000 hectares of state forest on the NSW mid-north coast as a koala habitat along with a new koala hospital will also open at Port Stephens to care for sick and injured koalas.

In an announcement at Taronga Zoo, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the the reserves will be a place for koalas to breed freely, advising "we know that there are around 36,000 koalas left in the state, but we don't know that for sure.

"It would be such a shame if this nationally iconic marsupial did not have its future secured."

The NSW Government's goal is to stabilise and eventually increase the population of koalas.

More than 20,000 hectares of state forest on the Central Coast, Southern Highlands, North Coast, Hawkesbury and Hunter with koala habitat will be used as new koala reserves.

Over 4,000 hectares of native forest on the Mid North Coast will also be transferred to the National Parks Estate.

About $20 million from the NSW Environmental Trust will be used to purchase land with prime koala habitat that can be permanently reserved as national parks.

NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the strategy was a comprehensive policy which involved fixing road kill hotspots, introducing more vaccines, conducting more research, and engaging local communities.

The actions to conserve koalas were informed by a 2016 review of the state's decline of koala populations, led by the NSW Chief Scientist Professor Mary O'Kane.

Professor Rebecca Johnson, the Director of Science at the Australia Museum, was also involved in the review.

Dr Johnson said the strategy was exciting as it "embeds science as policy", telling the ABC “it's an excellent first step … the most important thing is trees for them to live in, and leaves for them to eat.

"Koala conservation is complicated - they have a very coastal distribution, they have a very specific diet, of largely, entirely eucalyptus leaves.

"They've suffered the impacts of urbanisation when land is cleared for developments or housing."

Other actions in the NSW Government's strategy include creating a network of koala and wildlife hospitals and establishing a single wildlife rescue call number.

The strategies will be implemented and monitored over three years, and reviewed in 2021.

Lower image shows the plan of the NSW koala reserves.

17th April 2018 - BILBIES RETURN TO NSW NATIONAL PARKS AFTER NEAR 100-YEAR EXTINCTION

17th March 2018 - RETURN OF ENDANGERED QUOLLS TO NSW SOUTH COAST A MODEL FOR RETURN OF OTHER NATIVE ANIMALS

25th February 2018 - AUSTRALIAN IMAGING COMPANY SUPPORTS KOALA PLANTATION FUND

30th January 2018 - RESEARCH REVEALS HOW HUMANS IMPACT ON WILDLIFE MOVEMENT

22nd September 2017 - FOX-FREE PHILLIP ISLAND TO PLAY KEY ROLE IN BANDICOOT CONSERVATION 

8th September 2017 - $3 MILLION BOOST FOR NATIVE WILDLIFE ON THREATENED SPECIES DAY

21st September 2017 - WESTERN PLAINS ZOO SANCTUARY TO AID BILBY CONSERVATION

7th March 2016 - EASTERN QUOLLS RETURN TO AUSTRALIAN MAINLAND AFTER MORE THAN 50 YEARS

19th November 2015 - FENCE TO PROTECT NEWLY RELEASED TASMANIAN DEVILS 

26th June 2015 - NSW KOALA CONSERVATION AREA THREATENED WITH LOGGING

6th June 2015 - AUSTRALIAN NATIVE MAMMALS TO BE REINTRODUCED TO NSW

11th January 2015 - NSW GOVERNMENT FUNDING TO PROTECT THREATENED NATIVE SPECIES

29th November 2014 - WILDENDURANCE EVENT TO RAISE FUNDS FOR KOALA PROTECTION 

20th August 2014 - FEDERAL GOVERNMENT APPOINTS COMMISSIONER FOR THREATENED SPECIES

20th April 2014 - ROYAL COUPLE OPEN TARONGA ZOO BILBY EXHIBIT

13th May 2012 - FEDERAL FUNDING FOR PROTECTION OF NSW KOALAS 


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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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