Team Koala president Jenny Hayes hopes landholders will support Tweed Shire Council's Koala Connections Project
Team Koala president Jenny Hayes hopes landholders will support Tweed Shire Council's Koala Connections Project

Bid to boost Tweed koala population

ONLY 144 koalas are left in the Tweed, but Team Koala president Jenny Hayes is hoping council's Koala Connections Project will ensure the iconic marsupial's regional survival.

Tweed Shire Council's $3.5 million, four year, program aims to improve Tweed koala habitats by planting 30,000 koala food trees, with 2000 mixed shrubs.

"The goal is to see evidence of improved natural regeneration after five years, on 225 hectares of koala habitat and Endangered Ecological Communities listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act," Tweed Shire Council's website states.

Ms Hayes hopes Tweed landholders will put their support behind the project and allow council to plant trees on their properties for free.

"These landholders can turn the tide for our beautiful Koalas at no cost to themselves, but at the same time can save our beautiful icon for future generations to come," she said.

"As their land is so fragmented at the moment they stand no chance when they come to the ground to reach the next tree.

"They are so vulnerable on the ground and can be likened to an eight month old baby on the ground being easily mauled by dogs or hit by cars."

Ms Hayes said Gunnedah, New South Wales, was a perfect example of what the connections program could mean for Tweed's koala population.

"They willingly planted many koala trees so that the mother koalas could take their joeys to feed on these trees and so their numbers expanded," she said.

"We too can bring our koala numbers back and so be known as the koala coast once more.

"When koala numbers are tragically declining, the time is now to be the voice for the koala and turn the tide for future generations."

Team Koala will have a stall at Knox Park, Murwillumbah for World Environment Day on June 2 starting at 10am and will be championing their cause.

Ms Hayes said the team had been working on their "standout" stall for months and encouraged Tweed residents to come along and pay them a visit on the day.

The Federal Government's Clean Energy Future Biodiversity Fund contributed $2 million towards the Koala connections project last year and Council has set a target to engage at least 75 landholders for the project.

For more information visit http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au.



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