LOCAL environment members celebrated a very successful year recently with a pizza party on the Myall River waterfront.
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Twenty-five members of the Myall Koala and Environment Group enjoyed pizzas from the Myall River Bakery on a cool and windy evening.
President Jill Madden shared a few important highlights of the year, beginning with updating their 30-year-old constitution and registration as an Australian charity.
MidCoast Council has approved the street tree planting plan, a strategy to replace the koala tree corridor after the 10/50 rule resulted in hundreds of trees being removed. MCC is also assisting with supplying the landscaper, mulch and watering the trees.
Twenty koala food trees, E. Parramattensis, were successfully planted in Swan Bay and 12 new koala food trees were planted along John Davis Walk in Sanderling Avenue. These are eventually growing well after vandals twice pulled them out.
The annual Easter stall of bric-a-brac, cakes and raffles was a success in Hawks Nest and at the Myall River Festival they gave away 800 koala food trees for planting in the local area.
A five-day survey took place in September 2018, led by a team of experienced ecologists looking into koala habitat and koalas on eighty private properties in and around Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest. This confirmed koala habitat along three corridors leading into the two towns, north from the Myall Lakes National Park, northwest from Shearwater/Viney Creek/Monkey Jacket and west from Pindimar/Bundabah.
The survey found ten koalas, including females in all locations, meaning these were breeding habitats, not just movement corridors.
Scientists from Sydney University are interested in researching the koalas’ genetic makeup, disease status and movement patterns.
Jill Madden said this information would be used to ensure that koalas in the Myall Coast region could continue to live, move and breed successfully so future generations can enjoy seeing a koala in the wild.
Next year the senior ecologists will be presenting the results at a public meeting about koala ecology, previous conservation work and this survey plus where the current project could lead. The date has yet to be finalised.
Follow this project on Facebook Myall Coast Koala Corridor Project.
By Adrienne INGRAM