IN November we reported that spring had been a particularly active period for our local koalas.
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Well, they have been seen frequently in summer too.
The Koala Group has had 53 sightings of koalas reported to us in November, December and January.
An interesting phenomenon seems to be that they are hanging around close to the centre of Hawks Nest.
We even had one being chased across the roundabout by a couple of Staffordshire Terriers (fortunately he got away). Most of our sightings have been around the “Magic Square” or Mermaid/Ibis/Binda/Yamba Streets.
Unfortunately, another trend is bothering us and we don’t really understand the causes. In the past year there have been five koalas hit by vehicles on the Pacific Highway in our area between Bulahdelah and Karuah.
Sadly, four of them were killed instantly. However, a good news story was that one hit near the Viney Creek Road turnoff was rescued and taken in to care by an intrepid lady who stopped her car.
Amazingly it recovered from its injuries and was returned to koala-friendly bushland in Viney Creek Road well away from the highway.
We have been monitoring koala activity in our area personally since 2003 and the Koala Group has since 1989.
There have always been the occasional koala hits on the Highway but five in one year is unprecedented.
In the past year we have had no koala rescues or reported deaths in town. Before the koala sign went in at the foot of the bridge we had four koala deaths in three years on Kingfisher Avenue. Since the sign was installed (May 2016) we have had none.
By Gail & Ian MORPHETT