Conservationist says five koalas forced out of their trees
AT LEAST five koalas have been forced out of their trees since a developer resumed bulldozing bushland at Henderson Park at Tinana, wildlife conservationists say.
Maryborough's Natalie Richardson has been watching from the sidelines since it resumed on Monday afternoon and said so far a flora and fauna spotter and catcher had been present at all times.
She said trees with koalas in them had been left standing - as per vegetation clearing laws - until the marsupials moved on of their own accord.
"These koalas will actively seek out their usual trees in the future," she said.
"I can only imagine their distress and confusion at finding their homeland demolished."
Belela Pty Ltd, owned by Ron Blyth, was given permission to clear the 25 hectares of land, described by conservationists as "pristine koala habitat", in 2011 as part of stage four of the housing estate development.
However, the Fraser Coast Regional Council is investigating after a bulldozer started clearing without warning earlier this month, allegedly without a spotter and catcher on site.
Ms Richardson, a member of the Fraser Coast branch of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, said it had been heartbreaking to watch the clearing this week.
She said of the five koalas she had seen, three had joeys in their pouches.
"The fact that this has been allowed to happen is beyond shameful," she said.
Since the situation came to light, the council resolved to investigate habitat corridors, mapping and land acquisitions.
"There is a very clear and present danger that koalas will become extinct locally," Deputy Mayor George Seymour said.