An informative monthly newsletter about successes & important announcements in koala conservation, and the latest scientific publications about koalas.
October 2023
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October 2023

50 year anniversary of Port Macquarie Koala Hospital 2 October
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital celebrated 50 years this month. Sue Ashton was interviewed by ABC News.

Environment groups join forces for Cumberland Plain NSW 22 October
25 environment groups have come together to campaign for better priorities for the review of the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan.

Does tree planting really help koalas?
Koala Clancy Foundation put together the research and the evidence to produce this article.

Koala spotted using new Port Stephens underpass NSW 29 October
Koala Cam picked up a koala using the new underpass on Port Stephens Drive, Port Stephens.

Plans for 2024 on Mornington Peninsula Vic 26 October
Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation announce big plans for koala tree planting in 2024.

ACT introduces human right to healthy environment 31 October
The government of the ACT have introduced an amendment to their human rights act to include the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. It’s the first time in Australia that this has been legislated.

Rare success as Lennox the koala released NSW 24 October
A male koala hit on Picton Rd, Wollondilly area was cared for by Hawkesbury WIRES and released fit and well.

Strzelecki Koala Festival on 10 December VIC
Sale Botanic Gardens from 10am on 10 December 2023.

About giant extinct koala Nimbadon 28 October
Nimbadon was about five times larger than a koala, and lived about 15 million years ago.

Koala survives Heathcote Rd, NSW 24 October
A young male koala who was found walking along the middle of Heathcote Rd, Lucas Heights at 4.30am on Monday 23 October, was rescued by a passing driver. He has been assessed and released.

Volunteer information sessions for scat collection VIC
As part of the Great Victorian Koala Survey, Kelly Smith will be offering volunteer workshops on scat collection for DNA analysis. 12th November- Rawson; 14th November – Bunyip State Park; 19th November – Mount Worth State Park; 21st November – Three Bridges and Little Yarra River.

Narrandera Koala Count NSW 2 November
30 individual koalas were spotted on 7 October as part of the annual Narrandera Koala Count and Koala Festival. https://arr.news/2023/10/19/count-draws-koala-spotters/

Koala on Raymond Island Ferry VIC 1 November
A koala was safely escorted off the early morning ferry by Koalas of Raymond Island volunteer .

Ballina Shire to fund virtual fencing trials NSW 10 October
Ballina Shire Council voted unanimously to fund trials of virtual fencing to reduce wildlife roadkill, though one Councillor said it didn’t go far enough.


Latest Koala Science


Pahuja, H., Bee, I., Bee, A. and Narayan, E., 2023. Physiological stress response of koala joeys to visitors. bioRxiv, pp.2023-10. https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.10.09.561560

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) joey rescues are increasing over the years, and rehabilitation of a joey requires extensive care, close proximity and handling by humans. These novel environments are likely to present a suite of biotic and abiotic stressors during rehabilitation. In this study, we longitudinally monitored the faecal cortisol metabolites (FCMs) of three koala joeys within the context of potential stressors at the Magnetic Island Koala Hospital, Queensland, Australia. A total of 92 faecal samples were analysed for FCMs using a polyclonal R4866 cortisol enzyme-immunoassay which has been previously validated in koalas. The iterative baseline method was used to establish FCM profiles of all individuals, and to identify significant peaks in FCM concentrations. Visitor events were identified and confirmed as an acute stressor based on the FCM profiles of the koala joeys. All three koala joeys elicited a significant rise in FCM concentrations after each visitor encounter. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report on the acute stress response of koala joeys to visitors. We recommend that visitor encounters be kept to a minimum, and perhaps avoided altogether especially for joeys that are being rehabilitated to be released back into the wild.


Chulliparambil, V.R., Shearer, H., Matthews, T., Cortes-Ramirez, J. and Michael, R.N., GIS TO IDENTIFY THE VALUE OF ECOLOGICAL REHABILITATION OF LANDFILLS. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ruby-Michael/publication/374784558_GIS_to_identify_the_value_of_ecological_rehabilitation_of_landfills/links/652fbf8b73a2865c7abac8c4/GIS-to-identify-the-value-of-ecological-rehabilitation-of-landfills.pdf

Post-closure care of landfills is intended to reduce adverse impacts on the surrounding environment, and an important component of this process is capping. Landfills represent large areas of land that cannot be built on, and commercial use of landfill after closure has a lot of challenges. It is common for landfill sites to be green spaces initially and subsequently transformed into recreational parks or sports fields in highly populated regions. The emergence of phytocapping as a demonstrated and regulatory accepted alternative capping technology has led to a focus on ecological rehabilitation as a viable after-use for landfills due to their inherent characteristics that are similar to a natural system. Ecological rehabilitation is seldom considered a possible after-use for landfills, even though most landfills end up vegetated in the long term. Identification of ecological value present in a location is highly valuable to drive the decision-making process and, in turn, improve connectivity, ecological health, and biodiversity of a region. This study employs Koalas as an umbrella species to assess the ecological value and connectivity potential of a landfill. By using the Koala as a representative species, this research aims to evaluate the broader ecological implications and connectivity opportunities associated with a landfill site. This study uses buffer analysis and overlay analysis for preliminary identification of the potential for landfills in Koala habitat creation and connectivity. The majority of landfills in the South East Queensland (SEQ) region exhibit significant potential for ecological value through rehabilitation efforts. The findings demonstrate that landfill rehabilitation can be used to provide habitat for threatened species and improve the connectivity of bio-corridors. To maintain environmental sustainability, ecological conservation, and ecological connectedness, regulators and stakeholders are advised to place a stronger emphasis on landfill afteruse. The results show why ecological rehabilitation should be given higher emphasis in the waste management industry and point to the missed opportunity for habitat creation, connectivity, expansion and increase of green space.


Koala Science In Brief


Chang, M., Vuong, T., Palaparthi, M., Howell, L., Bonti, A., Abdelrazek, M. and Nguyen, D.T., 2023. An empirical study of automatic wildlife detection using drone thermal imaging and object detection. arXiv preprint arXiv:2310.11257. https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2310.11257


DE COALAS, R.E.T.R.O.V.I.R.U.S., de Souza, V.P.A., Castro, A.C.M. and de Melo, A.C., Ciências Agrárias e Meio Ambiente. https://doity.com.br/media/doity/submissoes/artigo-2c2cd8869fea44735fb99001b79c0e349c34f844-segundo_arquivo.pdf


Lucasa, T. and StuartMcCalluma, I., Baseline bioavailable strontium and oxygen isotope mapping of the Adelaide Region, South Australia. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/357129767_Baseline_bioavailable_strontium_and_oxygen_isotope_mapping_of_the_Adelaide_Region


Feature Paper


Kavanagh, R.P. and Stanton, M.A., 2012. Koalas use young Eucalyptus plantations in an agricultural landscape on the Liverpool Plains, New South Wales. Ecological Management & Restoration, 13(3), pp.297-305. https://doi.org/10.1111/emr.12005

Revegetation within cleared farming landscapes offers the potential to restore habitat for many woodland-dependent species that have declined since European settlement. Most species of arboreal marsupials require hollows for breeding and diurnal shelter, a resource that is usually available only in old trees; however, this constraint does not apply to the Koala. In this study, we describe the occupancy and use of young (4- to 7-year old) eucalypt plantations by Koalas in a predominantly cleared landscape used for intensive cropping and grazing. We compare Koala occupancy in 27 eucalypt plantations, 5 paddocks and 11 remnant forest and woodland sites, and we report the relative usage of these three land cover types by two adult male Koalas that were radio-tracked for 5 and 7 months using GPS transmitters. Koalas were recorded using young eucalypt plantations at 7 sites and remnant forest and woodland at 7 sites. Both radio-collared Koalas used eucalypt plantations more than expected based on the availability of this land cover type in their home-ranges. Occupancy of young eucalypt plantations and remnant patches by Koalas was strongly influenced by the proximity of these sites to remnant vegetation.


Previous Koala News & Science here: https://www.wildkoaladay.com.au/koala-news-science/koala-news-science-september-2023/
Written by Janine Duffy President, Koala Clancy Foundation.
with support from Cheryl Egan, Organiser, Wild Koala Day.
Please send your positive, important news & publications to president@koalaclancyfoundation.org.au before 29th of each month for possible inclusion.