New phone app to help count Tweed's remaining koalas

THE Great Koala Count will take place from the November 7 to 17 and in preparation the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative and the Tweed-Byron Koala Connections project will be holding workshops to help people get involved.

On Saturday October 12, a workshop will be held at the Pottsville Environment Park, Centennial Drive, which will focus on teaching participants how to download and use the BioTag SmartPhone app that will be used in the census.

Dr Grainne Cleary said she's excited about running the classes and getting more people involved.

"It's going to be really good to teach people to use the BioTag app … It's so easy to use and it's going to get a lot more people participating in the count," she said.

The Great Koala Count will be the first time a koala census has taken place on such a scale, with the Smartphone app allowing for specific information about koala location and gender to be recorded, as well as broadening the count to anyone with a Smartphone.

The classes will also inform participants about the importance of the Great Koala Count, which Dr. Cleary believes could be vital for the future of koalas in the Tweed region.

"This count is so important for koalas in the Tweed. The weather is getting really warm, it's only spring and the koalas don't cope to well with the heat, so after the count you'll be able to see how they're doing for yourselves," Dr. Cleary said.

The workshop will begin at the Pottsville Environment Park from 1.30 to 3.30pm and anyone planning to attend should RSVP to Tanya Fountain on (02) 6670 2587.



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