NO koalas had been seen for a significant amount of time by the community at Tahlee, Port Stephens, a historic tour site where environmental care and sustainability are promoted.
To assist in developing a koala friendly environment at Tahlee, and as part of undergraduate study, a researcher from Melbourne university spent a couple of weeks at Tahlee.
Numerous cameras were positioned around the extensive property in order to determine if koalas were present. Searches were made for scats and the footage was developed but there was no evidence of koalas.
There was a sense of disappointment as there are the right feeding trees on the property for koalas.
Two weeks later, the Hunter Bird Observers Club spent a morning at Tahlee on a birdwatching tour (where more than 150 species of bird have been spotted on the property).
To their delight, they announced at morning tea that one of their group had seen a koala!
Staff member Stuart Fleming, coordinator of conservation care and research at Tahlee said, “The birdwatching group were very excited about this unexpected observation especially considering the cameras hadn’t picked it up.”
The group fondly named it “Koala Bird”.
Tahlee is continuing to liaise with local conservation groups and is establishing more feeding trees with the hope that many more koalas will be seen in the future.