LAST October, the Koala Group commissioned a survey of koala habitat and activity in the Myall Coast region.
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The survey was carried out over three nights by one paid professional ecologist, two volunteer ecologists and about 6 volunteer field assistants.
Some of the sites surveyed were on public land and the national park but many were on private land offered by landholders.
The survey was a great success with ten koalas found across 87 sites.
This may not seem like many, however, it is a density of about 1 koala per 20 hectares which is actually quite high.
It is very much comparable to populations with a far higher profile, that are considered to be doing very well.
Koalas were spotted at Myall Lakes NP, Yagon Firetrail (1), Myall Lakes NP, Old Mining Road (2), Hawks Nest, Pelican Ave (1), Shearwater, Toonang Drive (1), Pindimar, several private properties (3) and Karuah Nature Reserve (2). Two of the animals were a breeding pair. Some high quality habitat was identified.
This means that there were koalas from one end of the Myall Coast to the other and in all locations females were found, meaning there is breeding habitat, not just movement corridors throughout.
This is a very important finding.
We must thank the survey co-ordinator Senior Ecologist Kylie Madden, ably supported by experienced wildlife ecologists George Madani and Martin Schulz for their fantastic efforts to carry out the survey.
As a result of the survey, the Koala Group has lodged a proposal with the Department of Environment and Heritage to purchase local land to be added to the National Park estate as part of the NSW Koala Strategy.
By Gail & Ian MORPHETT