THE koala is iconic both here in Australia and internationally.
The bear, that isn’t a bear, is rare and hard to spot.
Its population has been decimated by recent bushfires.
Add to this the high incidence of illness and the impact of loss of koala habitat we have a species on the brink.
Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest alongside Port Stephens is one region on the NSW Mid North Coast where the koala population is still evident.
The Myall Koala and Environment Group fosters preservation of the locally endangered koala population as well as being actively involved in protecting the Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens environment.
To this end there is a dedicated group of local volunteers who are actively making a difference.
Ian Morphett told News Of The Area, “We plant koala feed trees in public reserves, while encouraging residents to plant koala food trees on their own properties by our annual tree giveaway program at the Myall River Festival.”
The group is also actively involved with removing invasive weeds such as Bitou Bush, Lantana, Asparagus Fern and Honeysuckle from reserves and public land.
They also rescue sick or injured wildlife, particularly koalas.
Importantly the Myall Koala and Environment Group maintains a database of koala sightings via our telephone hotline.
“To report a koala sighting please call our sightings hotline answering machine on 4997 0878.
“For any sick or injured wildlife phone Wildlife in Need of Care (WINC) – 1300WINCWL 1300 946 295,” he said.
The volunteers are also actively participating in the Koala Recovery Plan managed by MidCoast Council, NPWS and other agencies and they are lobbying Council and the state government over inappropriate developments such as those involving excessive tree removal, destruction of core koala habitat, severing of wildlife movement corridors or other environmentally damaging proposals.
The group also delivers funding and participates in koala surveys identifying key koala habitats in the Myall Coast region.
If you would like to be involved in saving our koalas contact the Myall Koala and Environment Group.
By Marian SAMPSON