Tag Archives: koala

Council releases renewed five year koala action plan


Redland City Council has renewed its five year koala action plan calling for all levels of community and government support for targeted and practical efforts to for koala conservation.

Mayor Karen Williams said the revised the Redland Koala Conservation Action Plan 2016-2021 followed a substantial internal review of past actions and outcomes.

“Despite decades of effort to re-establish a stable koala population, the latest State analysis suggests a continuing decline of 80 percent in the Koala Coast population once estimated at 6000.

“Council believes that a revised approach is required and future action needs to be scientifically based, practical, measurable and targeted.

“While many of the proposed conservation actions may already be familiar, the strategy aims to ensure they are strongly focused and able to make a real difference.

‘There is no simple solution to this major issue and our efforts need to be science based rather than emotional if we are to make a lasting and real difference,” Cr Williams said.

“The koala conservation review process noted Redland City Council had made a substantial investment in a wide range of koala conservation measures over the past eight years.

“Without these measures ranging from expanding, rehabilitating and linking habitat to efforts to provide protection and education to reduce tragic and avoidable deaths from dog attacks and car strikes, it is very likely that the population decline may have been far worse.

Thirteen of the 37 actions within the revised plan are current business as usual, including $670,000 per year for direct koala conservation actions, approximately $4 million allocated annually for beneficial bushland conservation measures and $5.2 million allocated for conservation land acquisitions

“Importantly, we haven’t given up and in some areas we are redoubling our efforts.

“Subject to budget approval, an estimated $3.99 million is expected to be invested over the next five years, including support through government funding, for another 21 identified actions with the plan to be reviewed annually,

“We have fully committed to working with the state government’s expert panel lead by Associate Professor Jonathan Rhodes tasked with making further recommendations to arrest the alarming decline in koala numbers,”. Cr Williams said.

“Where appropriate, we will respond and adapt our own plans based on the findings from the expert panel.

“The revised Council action plan refocuses efforts to better understand the local population including supporting science based research.

“It also acknowledges that saving the koala is a shared responsibility of all levels of government and all communities. Together we can make a difference” Cr Williams said.

“In order to achieve targeted and measurable improvements we need to better understand the real population and this includes support from the community in helping to protect koalas from deadly dog attacks and car strikes and helping to report koala sightings in our urban areas.

“Developing a more realistic understanding of our local population means that supporting actions will have a targeted and realistic focus and better chance of success.

“The plan proposes to reinforce long standing efforts to get the community to change critical driving and dog ownership behaviors that has had a disastrous impact on mainland koalas.”

Action plan priorities identified for the coming year include koala movement monitoring, threat mapping, mapping of wildlife corridors and networks, enhancing nature corridors and safe passage areas, expansion of koala areas including areas under Koala Conservation Agreement Program (KCAP), and embarking on a major information program for residents to  reduce deaths from dogs and cars.

Council has previously agreed to funding for a research trial of a vaccine for the deadly chlamydia virus, and identified plans to enhance the Redland City environment by planting one million native plants over the next four years.

Ground-breaking chlamydia vaccine trials begin for Redland koalas


Redlands koalas have been thrown a lifeline with a potentially life-saving chlamydia vaccine trial beginning last week.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council had provided $30,000 to the joint University of the Sunshine Coast and Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital trial aimed at finding a vaccine to fight devastating chlamydia disease.

“These trials are an exciting milestone and a ground-breaking step towards hopefully helping Redlands koalas fight this disease,” she said.

“Chlamydia is a cruel disease and Council’s support of this trial shows our commitment to helping our local koala population.

“Chlamydial infections have a huge impact on koala populations, causing conjunctivitis-related blindness and severe bladder and reproductive symptoms leading to infertility and a reduced number of females in the wild able to breed.

“While vaccines have been used on healthy animals in earlier trials, this trial will be the first full evaluation of a newly developed vaccine administered to koalas already clinically diagnosed with chlamydia in an effort to halt and reverse the disease progress. It follows a smaller trial conducted in Lismore last year.”

The initial trial will be conducted over several months and include koalas suffering from chlamydia, with one group receiving the vaccine and a control group receiving the traditional treatment of antibiotics.

The koalas will then be closely monitored during their stay at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and upon release back into local bushland.

Cr Williams said she was honoured to attend the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital earlier this week to see the chlamydia vaccine in action.

“I was lucky enough to be on hand to see Flann the koala receive his final health check after being the first koala to receive the vaccine,” she said.

“I was very impressed with what I saw and am excited by the obvious potential of this trial and I will be speaking with my Council colleagues about other ways we can support this trial.”

Cr Williams said she had met with Professor of Microbiology at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Peter Timms, last year to see how Council could be involved in the trial.

“The Redlands is known for its koalas and I am keen to see the outcomes of this trial and continue working with the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and the University of the Sunshine Coast to find solutions that can assist our national koala population,” Cr Williams said.

Professor Timms will lead the research team for this study and said it was wonderful to see the first full vaccine trial begin.

“The koala chlamydia vaccine trial being conducted at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in conjunction with the University of the Sunshine Coast is a very important and exciting step in the development of a chlamydial vaccine for koalas,” he said.

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Dr Rosie Booth, Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital Director, said Chlamydia was a significant problem for Australian koalas.

“About 38% of koala admissions at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital from July 2014 to July 2015 were due to chlamydiosis, so this vaccine is an important first step towards reducing the number of diseased koalas we’re seeing and creating healthier koala populations in the wild,” Dr Booth said.

Professor Timms’ research team will also use Redland City Council’s $30,000 funding to support other projects to look at whether chlamydial infections can be diagnosed through fresh koala scats and begin training a second koala detection dog to support the work of local koala detection dog Maya.

Cr Williams said efforts to save koalas needed to be multi-faceted – from bushland rehabilitation projects to community education and backing the efforts of scientists.

“The threats facing koalas are complex and varied, requiring the joint efforts of all levels of government, scientific experts and our community members,” she said.

“Council is proud to be associated with this scientific trial, which complements other measures we are taking to protect Redlands koalas, including the recent commitment to a three year comprehensive education campaign to better protect koalas from domestic dog attacks.”

Council study maps koala habitat


A Redland City Council study has found there are approximately 10,000 hectares of koala habitat in the Redlands.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council’s Koala Habitat Review and Mapping project was the most comprehensive study ever into the city’s koala habitat.

“This report took two years to complete and details where koala habitat including individual koala food trees in urban areas are present on the mainland and North Stradbroke Island townships, as well as some locations where koalas have been sighted,” she said.

“The information will be used by Council to plan for the future of koalas in the city, ensuring our koala population is as healthy and robust as possible.

“It has been considered in the drafting of our new City Plan so we can look at how best to protect koala habitat from more significant development related risks as the city grows.”

Cr Williams said the project report and mapping was completed by leading environmental consultants Biodiversity Assessment and Management (BAAM) and Council.

“This report used several data sources including Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Moggill Koala Hospital records and Koala Action Group koala sightings from the last 17 years.” she said.

“It shows that approximately 10,000 hectares of Redland City is classified as being highly suitable habitat for koalas.

“The mapping will also guide Council’s day-to-day operations including  the development of habitat protection programs, infrastructure planning such as roads and underpasses and open space planning.

“This information has been fed into Council’s mapping system so these vegetation corridors are visible and informs the development of City Plan.

“The data and revised mapping is expected to be available for residents to browse on Council’s Red-e-map website from May.

“Some of the koala habitat identified in the report has been planted by Council as part of an ongoing program of cultivating koala food trees in strategic locations across the city, which has seen 38,000 koala food trees planted in the last five years.

Cr Williams said the Koala Habitat Review and Mapping project provided a scientific position from which to base future planning.

“I am a firm believer that the science needs to guide planning and this study gives us the data to now move forward with a strategic approach to vegetation management across the city,” she said.

“In addition to being available on our website, Council has sent this data to the State government and will also share the results with the Koala Action Group and Federal Government.

“At the end of the day koala numbers in the Redlands are declining as they are across Australia and we need all levels of government and the community to work together to come up with a solution and this data can inform these conversations.“

 

Koala trees at Ormiston


Council would like to assure residents that it has done everything reasonably possible to protect koala trees on private property at 223-231 Wellington Street, Ormiston and will create a publicly owned koala corridor along the foreshore of the block.

The property owner is subdividing the vacant land and plans to clear large koala trees that, if left on the block, the developer believes are a safety risk or will be affected by construction.

Zoning of this land to allow the subdivision is not new – the area has been zoned for residential development for the past eight years – and Council had no planning grounds to reject the development application.

The development application is consistent with the State Government’s Sustainable Planning Act, which Council is obliged to adhere to. If Council did not approve the application, the matter would likely go to the courts resulting in costly legal action funded by Redland ratepayers, and a likely decision that supports the subdivision.

While the trees may be removed, the 4900 square metres of land that fronts the water as part of this block, will be transferred to the community and revegetated. This will create a more effective koala corridor, which is protected by its new status as public land.

Koala trees as well as other flora will be planted in the foreshore area. A foreshore bike path will also be constructed to complete a missing link in our cycleway network around the city.

Council is committed to a green city, while meeting our obligations for community safety and a growing population.

For more information, contact Council on 3829 8999 or visit the details through Council’s PD Online website tool

The following points are intended to help further clarify information surrounding this approval:

  • Council decisions are bound by the State Government’s Sustainable Planning Act.  This application is consistent with the Act and as such Council was obliged to approve it.
  • Refusing the application may have resulted in legal action, which would have been costly to defend.  A cost paid by ratepayers.
  • This land has been suitable for residential development for more than 8 years, so the development is in line with the existing use of the land and the surrounding area.
  • Now that the application has been approved Council has no legal rights to change the approval.
  • An amendment to Council’s planning scheme was not made in response to this application.  An amendment was made separate to this application that had no bearing on the removal of any vegetation and it is unlikely it would have had any bearing on the outcome of the application.
  • Existing private land will be transferred to Council, providing 4,900 square metres of public use land for the community.
  • This public use land will be revegetated, completing and enhancing an existing environmental corridor, increasing wildlife habitat.
  • Recreational infrastructure including bike paths will also be constructed as part of the project.
  • Some properties included in the development will be nearly 1,000 square metres, maintaining the area’s amenity and character.
  • As the city grows, more land will be needed to provide housing and other community infrastructure. Building in already developed areas such as this is called ‘in-fill’ development and reduces the need for urban sprawl, protecting currently undeveloped areas.

While planning approvals can sometimes be complex, all planning approvals are granted in line with the relevant legislation and State Government Acts.

Redlands Snapshot – Wednesday 3 September


Redlands IndigiScapes Centre – Dad’s Day Out

Free entry and all activities are free of charge!

Bring dad along to celebrate Bushcare Major Day Out and enjoy a day of free hands-on activities and Bushcare workshops.

When: Sunday 7 September, 10am – 2pm
Where: Redlands IndigiScapes Centre, Runnymede Road, Capalaba
Free: Mini workshops, activities, bus tour, entertainment, prizes and meet a live koala

For more information phone 3824 8611 or visit the IndigiScapes website.

 

Free author talk at the library

Brisbane-based author Kylie Kaden talks about her first novel Losing Kate, a romantic love story set in suburban Brisbane.

When: Wednesday 10 September, 10.30am – 11.30am
Where: Cleveland Library, Cnr Bloomfield and Middle Streets
RSVP: Free for library members, but bookings are essential – phone 3829 8770

 

Meet our ‘Wonderful Wildlife’

IndigiScapes celebrates Save the Koala month!

Enjoy a family fun day out and learn about our wonderful wildlife. Come dressed as your favourite animal for our fashion parade at 12.30pm, prizes for best dressed!

When: Friday 26 September, 10am – 2pm
Where: IndigiScapes Centre, Runnymede Road, Capalaba
Free: Meet a koala and wedge tailed eagle, wildlife presentations, art classes, colouring-in competition and craft

For more information, phone 3824 8611 or visit the IndigiScapes website.

 

Draft Economic Development Strategy

Feedback closes this Friday

Hurry to have your say on Council’s Draft Economic Development Strategy. We’ll be accepting community feedback and submissions until this Friday 5 September 2014. For more information and to complete the short online survey visit our website.

 

Rethink your rubbish

Find out more about waste and recycling

Council’s Waste Education Officer is available to visit your community group to talk about waste minimisation, recycling, composting, worm farming, or any related topic that interests you!

Visits and presentations can be booked through IndigiScapes – phone 3824 8611 or visit our website.

 

Drive safely to help protect koalas

It’s koala breeding season until December. Adult koalas are on the move in search of a mate and last year’s young koalas are in search of a new home.

Drive carefully on our roads, especially between dusk and dawn, slow down to give yourself time to see wildlife on the roads. Please also restrain dogs at night to help koalas move around safely. If you see an injured koala, please phone 3833 4031.

 

Water meter readings

Time to prune the poinsettia! We are reading water meters in Victoria Point this week. Please make sure our water meter readers have clear access to your water meter.

 

Open meetings

General meeting – Wednesday 3 September, 9.30am
General meeting – Wednesday 17 September, 9.30am

Help plant a koala habitat


Redland residents are being asked to roll up their sleeves to help our koalas at this year’s Koala Community Planting, where 2000 trees will be planted to create a future home for our furry friends.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said events such as these were important to the ecological sustainability of the Redlands.

“With the most significant urban koala population in Australia, the Redlands plays an important role in koala survival nationally,” she said.

“Events such as our community planting days not only provide habitat to sustain future koala populations but also raise the profile of our much-loved, iconic species and encourage the community to do their part to save our local koalas.”

Redland City Division 9 Councillor and environmental spokesperson Paul Gleeson said Council’s Koala Community Planting event was now in its sixth year and had helped plant more than 10,000 trees for Redlands’ koala population.

“This event is part of Council’s broader Bushcare program, which planted 20,000 native plants last financial year,” Cr Gleeson said.

“These community plantings make a huge difference with past community planting locations now home to large trees that provide shelter for local koalas.”

“This event complements a number of other Council initiatives that care for koalas.  These events include an annual koala survey and the Koala Fun Run which is being held Sunday 26 May at Norm Price Park, Redland Showgrounds.”

This year the event is being sponsored by the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife.

People wanting to help with the planting should bring their own drinking water and wear appropriate sun protection and fully-enclosed shoes. All equipment will be provided.  To reward volunteer efforts, a free take-home native plant and sausage sizzle will be on offer for all who attend.

Event details:

When: Saturday 18 May 2013, 8.30am – 10.30am

Where: Creek Road Park, Parkridge Place, Birkdale; UBD Reference: Map 184 D5

For more information contact Bushcare 3824 8611

Spot a koala on 20-21 October


The countdown has begun to the annual Redlands’ koala count-a-thon survey weekend to be held 20 and 21 October.

Redland City Council, in partnership with the local Koala Action Group, encourages the community to participate in the thrill of koala spotting to provide valuable information for koala conservation.

The survey is an important event in our local calendar as it helps to provide critical information about the number, location and health of our local koalas.

Koala spotting is a fun activity that brings delight to people of all ages. Whether you turn this event into a fun weekend activity or you simply spot or hear a koala as part of your regular weekend routine, please report all koala activity.

The survey weekend is a rewarding way to help protect our local koalas and explore the great outdoors.

This year Council has developed a new digital survey tool available on our Koala Central Facebook page to support the initiative. It will provide easier access for residents to take part using their smart phones while out and about.

Koala Action Group president Debbie Pointing said October was an ideal time to conduct the survey to coincide with koala breeding season, when koalas were most active.

“Community participation is paramount to the success of the survey and participants will be asked for the exact location of the koala, its health status, the type of tree it is in (eucalypt or other) and whether they can identify the sex,” Ms Pointing said.

Successful koala spotting starts with learning more about a koala’s favourite type of eucalypt trees, by keeping an eye out for scratching on tree trunks and noticing droppings on the ground around tree bases.

Koala sightings between 20 and 21 October can be registered by:
Phone: 3820 1103 between 8am and 5pm daily.
Online: www.koalacentral.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/koalacentral

To learn more about how to spot a koala, how to identify koalas for reporting or how to get involved in the survey weekend visit www.koalacentral.com.au

Celebrate National ‘Save the Koala’ Day


Redlands IndigiScapes Centre invites the community to join in the celebration of National Save the Koala Day at its Magnificent Mammals Day event on Friday 28 September.

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams, encourages residents to get involved in the local event, in honour of our cutest Australian icon.

“Magnificent Mammals Day offers a family fun day out that is perfect school holiday entertainment. The event offers an exciting line-up of free activities from 10am – 1pm,” the Mayor said.

“Magnificent Mammals Day is just one way we can engage with the community about the importance of saving our local koalas. At the same time as raising awareness about our koalas we can provide a free fun day out for families to enjoy time together.

“Come and learn all about Redlands’ magnificent mammals and get up close to our favourite furry mammal when you meet a koala from Daisy Hill Koala Centre.

“Other activities include live animal presentations, craft workshops, face painting and a range of educational displays, all set in the beautiful surrounds of the IndigiScapes’ native botanic gardens.

“There will also be a free sausage sizzle and the IndigiScapes Tea Garden Café will be open, serving up its home-baked delicious treats and Australian native teas.”

For more information, phone IndigiScapes on 3824 8611 or visit www.indigiscapes.com.au.

Koala death spurs call for a driver care


Redland City Council is calling for driver care after another young male koala was found dead, hit by a car on Redland Bay Road, Capalaba last week.

The Redland Wildlife Rescue volunteers were called after a resident saw the koala lying on the road side.

It is the beginning of the most tragic time of the year on the roads for local koalas and other wildlife.

During koala breeding season, from now until December, koalas are on the move with adults looking for mates and young koalas in search of their own home range.

Approximately 35 per cent of total koala deaths in the Redlands every year are attributed to car hits.

Council is urging residents to be especially aware of koalas and slow down when driving to reduce the number of koala fatalities this year, particularly on major roads, as these have high koala car hit incidents.

Experts say that one of the greatest tragedies of koala road mortality is that the victims are usually healthy breeding individuals.

Habitat loss leads to disease, and brings koalas into contact with cars and dogs, but there is a lot that residents and visitors can do to minimise these threats.

Drive carefully in areas where koalas may be trying to cross the road, particularly in areas with ‘koala warning signs’ and be aware of their movement even in key urban areas such as Cleveland CBD.

Koalas are most active between dusk and dawn so extra caution is needed during these times. They will also be seen moving around during the day and can be very active between 10-11am and 3-4pm.

Slow down on the roads, this will not only help save your life and others, but also the lives of precious local wildlife.

Scan the sides of the road for koalas when driving and watch for koala ‘eyeshine’ (reflections from an animal’s eyes) at night.

Call the Redlands 24 hour Wildlife Rescue Service if you see an injured koala on 3833 4031.

Getting immediate veterinary care for injured koalas can mean the difference between life and death.

If you see an injured koala while driving but can’t stop, check your odometer and record the distance to a known point so you can give wildlife carers a good indication of where the animal is.

If you do hit a koala please call for help, while it’s a horrible feeling, there is no penalty or fine for accidently hitting a koala while driving.

By reporting all injured or dead koalas to the Redland Wildlife Rescue you are helping to provide vital information to Council and the State Government to help save our koalas.

To learn more about how to protect our local koalas visit www.koalacentral.com.au or follow us on www.facebook.com/koalacentral.

All images are of the young male koala killed on Redland Bay Road, Capalaba last week.koala3 koala1 koala2