IN the wake of the catastrophic mid-north coast bushfires in late 2019, Mathew Bell, Senior Ecologist at MidCoast Council is organising a collaboration project involving all affected parties to develop a recovery strategy for the devastated koala populations.
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Hundreds of thousands of hectares were burnt out and it is estimated thousands of koalas were killed in our region.
We have all heard about the fact that over ‘one billion’ wildlife creatures have been incinerated in this year’s bushfire season in Australia.
Mat has invited a ‘who’s who’ of people and organisations involved in koala care in the region including Tim Faulkner from Australian Reptile Park and Aussie Ark, Cheyne Flanagan, Clinical Director of Port Macquarie Koala Hospital (who is speaking at the UN later this month on the plight of our koalas), Dr Steve Phillips (BIOLINK and co-author of the NSW Koala Recovery Plan), Dr Rebecca Montague-Drake (Hastings-Macleay Koala Recovery Partnership), Koalas-in-Care Taree, Port Stephens Koalas, Myall Koala and Environment Group, Port Stephens Council, MidCoast Council, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Kempsey Council and NPWS.
Port Macquarie Hospital in particular has some very innovative plans to build a breeding programme for unreleasable koalas (due to injury) to then release their offspring back into the wild. As a result of their very successful Go Fund Me campaign, the hospital has significant funds to establish the breeding sites and do the clinical studies necessary to ensure proper genetic matching of the animals in the breeding programme.
Next week News Of The Area will bring you a local sightings update for the area.
By Ian & Gail MORPHETT