Be on the lookout for young koalas on the move

Young koalas are on the move around Redlands Coast as part of the annual dispersal that precedes koala breeding season.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said residents and motorists should be on the lookout for the small koalas as they were likely to turn up in surprising places.

“These young koalas are leaving their mother’s home ranges to find their own and can travel long distances, exploring the terrain on foot and using a variety of trees as stepping stones,” she said.

“They travel through bushland, schools, back yards and across roads and often pass through built-up areas as they find their way around, so you may spot them in locations such as car parks and outside shops in business areas.”

Cr Williams said the young koalas were usually about 18 months old and small, so were sometimes mistaken for lost joeys.

“Generally, if they are about the size of a football or bigger they are fine on their own,” she said.

“To help these young koalas travel safely I encourage residents to keep their distance and allow them to move freely, restrain dogs at night, and provide pool and fence escapes.

“Motorists should slow down and be alert for koala movement, particularly at night.”

Koala dispersal usually occurs between late June and July, but can extend into the koala breeding season from August to December.

How you can help young dispersing koalas:

  • Let them continue on their way without interference, as long as they are not in immediate danger, as your ‘help’ can confuse them and lead to unexpected danger.
  • Create a koala-friendly backyard by confining or restraining your dogs at night, putting a wooden pole or ladder against your fence so they can continue on through, and a floating water aid in your pool so they can climb out if they fall in.
  • When driving, slow down and be alert to wildlife movement on the sides of the road.
  • If you are worried about the health or welfare of any koala, phone the Redlands 24-hour Wildlife Rescue Service on 3833 4013.
  • Join the Redlands Coast Koala Watch community online and record your koala sightings to help improve the health and wellbeing of our local koala population.

For more information on local koalas, including how to spot a sick or injured koala, visit Council’s koala webpage.