Wednesday 12th August 3:30pm - 7:30pm
Council Meeting - 12 August 2020
Thursday 13th August 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Bushfire Recovery - Environment
The sad news is that, state wide, 25% of koala habitat has been burnt by the bushfires this summer. Fortunately the fires did not reached our best quality koala habitat (e.g. the edge of the water catchment lands and Canyonleigh) in the Southern Highlands and this recent rain has almost put them out.
Both the Green Wattle Creek Fire and the Morton Fire did burn koala habitat, but it was lower quality habitat than other parts of the Southern Highlands. However, even though the quality of habitat was low, we have temporarily lost connectivity to koala populations in the Blue Mountains and Morton National Park. Koalas will recolonise these areas from the unburnt fringes as the bush recovers.
The Southern Highlands Koala Conservation project is working with the NSW Government Saving Our Species Program to assist and monitor the recovery of koalas and other wildlife in fire affected areas. We will have more news when it is safe to access the ex-fireground.
Even with this recent huge rainfall, this fire season is not over.
Donate Eucalyptus leaves to rehabilitating koalas in care
Each koala in care needs the tips of six fresh branches of Eucalyptus leaves per day. We need your help finding trees that are the right species and have accessible leaves for us to prune.
This will save our incredible carers time searching for appropriate trees, so they can focus on rehabilitating koalas.
You can register leaves for donation using the Koala Feed Tree Locator
Protect the Koala Habitat
You can protect the koala habitat on your property by joining the Land for Wildlife program. This is a free program where you get an ecological assessment of your property, variety of maps (including a koala habitat map) and access to $2,000/year grants from the Biodiversity Conservation Trust. All you need is at least 0.5 hectares of bushland and an enthusiasm for wildlife!
If you see a koala that is injured or in distress on the ground, then call either:
In 2018, the project team received a further $450,000 over three years from the NSW Government’s Saving Our Species program, allowing us to continue our valuable work delivering local koala conservation actions, including:
The Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project was initiated following a major bush fire in October 2013 that burnt over 15,000 hectares of bushland to the north of the Shire. Within days of the fire, Council began receiving reports of koalas appearing in backyards and being struck by vehicles on the Hume Highway. These reports surprised many local residents, including long-serving Council staff, many of whom were unaware of the local presence of koalas.
Recognising there was very limited available information about the Shire's koala population, Council approached the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage's (OEH) Threatened Species team seeking expert advice on how Council might help manage its koalas. It soon became clear that not only was the Southern Highlands home to a significant koala population, but this population had also been largely overlooked in terms of research and conservation efforts.
Following an initial 5-day survey and pilot study funded by Council's Environment Levy, the Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project was formally established with the overarching goals of providing a clear direction for the long-term conservation of koalas in the Southern Highlands and making this the best understood koala colony in NSW.
The Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project is proudly supported by the NSW Government's Saving Our Species program and the Wingecarribee Shire Council's Environment Levy.
For further information about this Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project, please contact Council on:
Telephone: 02 4868 0888