20 September 2018

Mayoral Column

What a wonderful KoalaFest event we had last week in Kurrajong! Did you know that koala sightings are increasing in the Hawkesbury? Council has installed new signage around rural roads in Kurrajong which see a higher amount of ‘koala traffic’ to try to protect our native animals and to encourage safer driving from tourists and locals alike.

There have been koala sightings at Cabbage Tree Road, Grose Vale, Hermitage Road, Kurrajong and also dangerously close to Bells Line of Road near Kurrajong Public School.

If you do spot a koala, you can record it at www.scienceforwildlife.org This is part of an exciting project run by Dr Kellie Leigh who has created important Koala Habitat Maps. The maps are based on a range of data including koala sightings, scat survey work and radio-tracking data in the South East Wollemi National Park and adjacent developed areas including Kurrajong and Grose Vale. The maps are available at http://scienceforwildlife.org/iconic-koalas/koala-habitat-maps

With the help of over 100 koala sightings submitted by the local community, we now have a good idea which habitats are most important to koalas at this site and where they are likely to be found. Our koala population appears to be growing while other koala populations across Australia are in decline. We have some highly suitable habitats for koalas in our developed areas which means koalas are likely to continue to move through these areas. It puts them at greater risk from vehicle collisions as they cross roads, and from domestic dog attacks. So please keep an eye out, slow down on the roads and keep your cats and dogs locked up at night.

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