Koalas found in national park after decades of absence
Author: Laura Chalk
After decades of no koala sightings, there have been reports of the marsupial once again inhabiting the Dharug National Park, on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia.
“It’s always great news when we discover koalas in new areas,” said NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton.
The two koalas were recorded by the National Park’s night-vision cameras which are used to monitor the area, but this is the first time they’ve captured the iconic animal.
Sarah Brookes is a National Parks and Wildlife Service Ranger who has worked in the area for 20 years and this was the first time she’d seen koalas in the park.
In addition to the sightings, a neighbouring land owner has shared an audio recording which the National Park staff were able to identify as the call of a female koala, Brookes said.
The koala mating season lasts from August until February, and during this time, koalas are on the move as they vacate their tree-top homes and venture out into the bushland. This means koalas risk encountering such hazards as cars and dogs.
In the instance of seeing a koala in the wild, Brooke’s advice is to “leave it alone and provide us with details of where you saw it so it can be recorded.”
Koalas are currently listed as vulnerable in the state, and campaigns have formed to increase their protection, as vast swathes of their habitat – open Eucalypt woodlands – are being destroyed.
One such initiative is the ‘Adopt a Koala’ campaign by the World Wildlife Fund, where a donation will go towards planting new tress for koalas to reside in, caring for sick and injured animals, and supporting efforts to stop excessive tree-clearing, protecting wildlife for the future.
Koalas are the only remaining member of the phascolarctidae family, with all other members being extinct. This is just one of the many reasons to fight for their survival and to cherish them as one of our most well-loved and unique native animals.
- Register to adopt a koala, or volunteer with local campaigners to assist the koala conservation effort
- If you see a marsupial, leave it alone and contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service or Wires (if injured) so they can identify, record and protect it. The Koala Tracker is also a great way to learn about koalas in your area and report any you find.
- Plant a native tree, so as to provide a home for wildlife. National Tree Day is one such initiative, which is easy and fun to be involved in.
- Australian Geographic
- NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage
- 10 Fun Facts About Koalas - video
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
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