Tweed Coast koala's receive habitat boost
THE Tweed Coast's endangered koala population will have more habitat to call home after the NSW Government announced it had purchased an additional 43ha of prime koala habitat in Pottsville.
The "highly significant" land purchase, which adjoins the Cudgera Creek Nature Reserve, will add to a further 100 ha koala reserve the State Government bought last year.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said the extra 43ha of koala habitat would further protect the declining koala population on the Tweed Coast, which is estimated to be between 50-250 koalas.
"This latest addition compliments existing efforts by the Government to conserve high value koala habitat that supports landscape connectivity as well as the east-west movement of koalas between the hinterland and the coast," Mr Provest said.
"This movement is important for the future survival of the Tweed's population of coastal koalas which have been recorded moving back and forth over the Pacific Highway near the nature reserve via a specially designed fauna land bridge."
NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Uptonsaid the land purchase was vital to ensure the survival of the Tweed Coast's koala population.
"We know there are koalas in this area and the evidence shows they are also moving through on a regular basis", Ms Upton said.
"The purchase will also improve the ecological viability of the existing 60ha Cudgera Creek Nature Reserve by increasing its size by almost 72 per cent.
"Conserving this new addition will contribute to Koala conservation by removing threats such as clearing and habitat fragmentation as well as reducing other threats such as dog attack and vehicle strike."
Team Koala president Jenny Hayes welcomed the land purchase and said it would ensure better protection for the three remaining koala colonies on the Tweed Coast.
"Habitat is everything to them, this is extremely important," Ms Hayes said.
"Without corridors we don't have koalas. This area here is integral to their survival."
Tweed Shire Council's senior biodiversity program leader Scott Hetherington said the 43ha would also be utilised by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
"It runs along the highway in a northerly direction and connects up to the existing Cudgera Creek Nature Reserve, which is one of the key benefits for the National Parks Department as they'll have better management access now," Mr Hetherington said.
"This ridge here is highly significant in the landscape connectivity for koalas across to the coast, so anything we can do to protect and improve the conditions of this country here will be beneficial."
Team Koala also received a $5000 grant from the NSW Government to assist with educational programs and koala protection.