Jay Cronan

Koala study findings 'shock'

SCIENTISTS half way through a study of Tweed's koalas have been shocked by their findings so far.

Uki-based Biolink ecological consultants have been commissioned to undertake the long-overdue study, which will determine the status, distribution and location of koala populations on the Tweed Coast.

Field studies will be done on about 100 locations in Bilambil and Cobaki, plus the coastal areas east of the Pacific Highway and down to the Billinudgel nature reserve.

A report is prepared for the new Tweed Coast Koala Advisory Group, which will oversee the preparation of a koala plan of management for the Tweed Shire.

Biolink senior ecologist Marama Hopkins said tree use and the presence, or absence of koalas and their density will be noted in each area. Koala records for the shire dating back to the 1960s will be studied, along with food tree preferences and habitat mapped.

Ms Hopkins said researchers were finding less koalas in the field sites than expected.

“Evidence of koalas is more difficult to find than we had expected, which is disappointing and perhaps shocking.”



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