NEW surveys and monitoring programs will soon be underway to gather more information on koala colonies in the Border Rivers-Gwydir region.
In NSW, koala numbers have dropped by a third in 20 years, but there is no reliable data available on population in the Border Rivers-Gwydir.
Anecdotal evidence from landholders suggests populations have increased in some areas.
Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority (CMA) will facilitate flora and fauna surveys and monitoring to bridge the information gap.
This spring David Carr, from Stringybark Ecological, will carry out a vegetation survey of the type and condition of habitat in the Croppa Creek area.
Phil Sparks, from North West Ecological Services, will also undertake fauna surveys to determine the range of native animals in the region and to establish a system for monitoring numbers.
Two landholders have also received financial assistance from the CMA for ten-year land management agreements to improve koala habitat on their properties.
But koala colonies still face serious threats from disease and human activity.
Koala populations in eastern Australia were recently classified as vulnerable and added to the Commonwealth threatened species list.
The area of koala habitat in the catchment is declining because of illegal clearing, and animals are being killed on our roads and by wild dogs.
Chlamydia, which is contributing to a decline in numbers in coastal areas and Queensland, has now been found in local colonies and landholders have reported deaths.
Activities to improve koala survival are planned for coming months, including a training session for WIRES koala carers and veterinary staff, and a koala workshop to report on research progress.
The CMA also has funding for groups of landholders who would like to manage habitats for koalas and other endangered species.
For more information contact Leah MacKinnon on 6757 2559 or firstname.lastname@example.org. gov.au