Koalas are on the agenda with Tamworth ecologist Phil Spark to present a report on the Gunnedah Koala Conservation Plan for Landcare and Community Groups on November 22.
The community information session will be held at GS Kidd Memorial School from 6pm, and is supported by NSW Local Land Services North West (NW LLS).
As part of Project Koala, the organisation contracted Mr Spark to put a Koala Action Plan together to map out a blueprint for the best way forward to save Gunnedah’s koalas.
“The plan will have practical projects for community groups, landholders and council that will assist in the protection of our koalas,” NW LLS senior land services officer (projects), Angela Baker said.
“We can appreciate that it is a busy time of the year, however we feel that it is important to talk about the report and some of the actions that can be put into place before the summer heat really begins.”
Former Gunnedah resident and Office of Environment and Heritage’s David Walker is joining Ms Baker in encouraging attendance.
“Under the new NSW Government Biodiversity Program, Saving Our Species, the koala is one of six ‘Icon Species’ that rate special attention,” Mr Walker said.
“Research over the last few years managed by Liverpool Plains Land Management, with researchers Dr Dan Lunney and Dr Mathew Crowther, has shown that two key ‘threatening processes’ for koalas in the Gunnedah region are firstly heat stress and dehydration during heat waves, and secondly loss of habitat due to clearing for mining, agriculture and urban expansion.”
He said the Saving Our Species program had plans to manufacture 30 water tank and drinker stands following the successful trials of Robert Frend’s Blinky Drinkers – water drinkers placed on trees to give koalas access to water. Landholders with koala habitat on their properties will be needed to host some of the Blinky Drinkers.
“The Saving Our Species program is also looking for farmers who may be interested in planting trees to extend and improve the koala habitat on their farms,” Mr Walker said.
“Funding is available for this work.”
There are still spots open for the information session, to be held on Tuesday, November 22, but community members are urged to RSVP by phoning Angela Baker on 6742 9209 or 0429 369 693, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.