Protecting Koala habitat from Goats and Compliance for E4 Land Port Stephens Port Stephens News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - September 7, 2021 A mother and baby Koala across the road from the property where goats are reportedly ravaging koala habitat. Photo: Henk Tobbe. PORT Stephens has a diverse and incredible set of natural assets. There is more to our being ‘Incredible By Nature’ than our beaches and waterways. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – [email protected] The region is home to a diverse range of environments; from littoral rainforests to Koala corridors and habitats which are protected from development and clearing to assist in the survival of endangered flora and fauna. Local environmentals are concerned that a property in Anna Bay, which is considered koala habitat, has been stocked with goats by its owner. Goats are known to be land clearers and are considered a pest where their populations are roaming through our national parks. The Environment NSW website states, ‘goats eat native plants – as selective feeders, feral goats can quickly reduce the diversity of plant species by over-grazing and preventing the regeneration of some trees and shrubs and by allowing those plants resistant to grazing to replace original forest; compete with native animals for food, water and shelter; cause soil erosion through over grazing and trampling vegetation ground cover; can compete with domestic livestock for resources; can spread disease to native animals and domestic livestock – feral goats are hosts to many sheep diseases and a potential host of foot and mouth disease and damage Aboriginal heritage sites’. Competition and habitat degradation by feral goats has been listed as a key threatening process in NSW by the NSW Scientific Committee. While the goats on the property are not feral they are the same animal and are well known for their vivacious appetites. Port Stephens Council are now working with the owner to see the removal of the goats in the near future. A Port Stephens Council spokesperson told News Of The Area, “We’re working with the owner to develop a voluntary agreement on how weeds are managed on the site including removing the goats in the near future. “Recent inspections of the site revealed fresh koala droppings, which shows that koalas are still active in the area.” By Marian SAMPSON Two koalas across the road from the property in question. Photo: Henk Tobbe.