midcoast koala safe spaces program

MidCoast Council has secured over $1 million from the New South Wales Government to grow the local koala population and protect the animal’s habitat, through the government’s NSW Koala Strategy.  

This new partnership means the Council now has the resources to action its Koala Safe Spaces Program.

MidCoast Council Mayor, Claire Pontin, said the funding recognises the MidCoast as a priority region for koala conservation.

“With koalas under threat of extinction in the wild by 2050, we all have an important opportunity to make a difference,” Mayor Pontin said.

MidCoast Council has already been working to support the local koala population through its environmental levy and the Koala Safe Spaces Program. . 

The program will begin with an effort to learn more about local koalas, how they’re doing and where they can still be found.

This will include the most extensive koala survey ever conducted on the MidCoast, with the results to help scientists better understand how to protect or restore koala habitats.

MidCoast Council’s Manager Natural Systems, Gerard Tuckerman, said, “Parts of the MidCoast region provide some of the best opportunities to see koalas in the wild.

“An important thing we can all do is report koala sightings.”

Council operates an online koala reporting form which has received over 300 sightings to date.

Council will also be looking to establish safe spaces” for koalas, and with a significant proportion of local koala populations on private land, Council will be working with local landholders to improve koala habitats.

“We applaud the work of many locals who are already doing some fantastic work tree planting and protecting the special patches of bush on their blocks. We will now be able to better support these efforts,” Mayor Pontin said. 

“We also hope many other landholders will volunteer to get involved.”

Council would like to hear from landholders willing to host a koala dog survey team on their land, to help determine where koala populations are. Land owners can also volunteer to help create or protect existing koala habitats or corridors.

This koala conservation program is possible thanks to the New South Wales Koala Strategy and with contributions from MidCoast Council’s environmental levy.

Feature image credit: Peter Goonan.

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