Koalas get more protection

LIFE is looking up for Tweed koalas after the announcement additional tree preservation areas will be created to protect them.

At Tweed Shire Council's Tuesday night meeting, councillors adopted the Tweed Coast Koala Habitat Study which identifies sites suitable for habitat restoration and outlines some of the measures needed to preserve the remaining populations.

The study also defines the Tweed Coast's koala population and maps its remaining habitat.

Biolink Ecological Consultants in conjunction with the Tweed Coast Koala Advisory Group prepared the study. It is the first of two stages for a Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management for the Tweed Coast.

Tweed Shire Council's Biodiversity Program leader Dr Mark Kingston said the study findings highlighted the crucial need for koala protection and preservation.

“Its current status would justify its nomination as an endangered population, with numbers already below the minimum viable population size of 170 individuals,” Dr Kingston said.

During the meeting the council members voted to release the study to Tweed residents in a bid to promote the findings.

The members also voted to proceed with stage two of the comprehensive plan of management.

Team Koala founder and advisory group member Jenni Hayes said the study shows koalas were quickly diminishing.

“The immediate protection provided by this new tree preservation order is incredibly important. There has been a lot of discussion and now we need action,” Ms Hayes said.

“The fact the councillors adopted the study unanimously is extremely heartening.”

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