A Redland City Council program, run in conjunction with a number of research institutions, including Griffith University and University of the Sunshine Coast, will see the establishment of koala safe neighbourhood precincts as part of a raft of programs being rolled out under Council’s Koala Conservation Action Plan.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said many of the major activities for 2018/19 under the five-year plan were grounded in science, with Council to partner with research agencies to deliver a multi-layered approach to koala conservation.
“I firmly believe the future of koalas in south-east Queensland needs a collaborative approach led by the science and this plan will help deliver that through collaboration with the likes of Griffith University, ensuring our actions are based on science and research,” Cr Williams said.
“Activities include habitat and conservation planning, koala threat mitigation initiatives, and a koala education campaign that will be rolled out next month.”
Deputy Mayor Cr Lance Hewlett said the plan included working on koala safe neighbourhood precincts, which would include a community koala monitoring program as well as a science-based road signage trial, conducted by Griffith University, that would study the most effective signage to increase driver vigilance and increase awareness of koalas.
“The longer term objective will be to use the results across the rest of the city to ensure that best practice is followed,” he said.
Preliminary research under the Koala Conservation Action Plan showed there was a sufficient level of gene flow between the discreet local koala populations in the Redlands Coast villages of Birkdale, Cleveland, Ormiston and Wellington Point.
There were also mainland areas where koalas had existed for at least three generations.
Assessment of North Stradbroke Island and the rest of the mainland was completed in July 2018, with the delivery of all final reports on the koala surveys due in October 2018.
Council has developed a number of education campaigns as part of the program to raise awareness in the community of the importance of restraining dogs at night, being aware of koalas roaming during their breeding season from July to November, and being vigilant when driving in these months in particular.
In addition to the new work being undertaken, Council will also continue to facilitate koala conservation programs such as koala habitat plantings, Redlands Wildlife Ambulance, One Million Native Plants and the annual North Stradbroke Island koala survey.