A $2 million investment is being made to restore koala habitat in the Gympie region and to protect the locally threatened species.
Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG) is assisting a consortium of community groups, researchers and traditional owners who will work with landholders to restore critical habitat and improve connectivity of koala habitats across various locations in the Gympie region covering 178 hectares.
In February 2022 the status of the koala in Queensland changed from vulnerable to endangered, raising the level of protection.
BMRG research manager Sydney Collett said land clearing for agriculture and urban development had created a legacy of fragmented, isolated and degraded koala habitat.
“This project will address threats by restoring habitat and providing improved connectivity for koalas in the Gympie region,” she said.
“It’s important for the species to survive in this area that we make it easier for fragmented populations to connect with each other and to reduce the risk of road deaths or attack by predators.
“Fencing will be installed at high-priority areas to increase the survival rate of seedlings and ultimately increase the extent of available habitat,” she said.
The first phase of works is funded by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water through the Australian Government’s Regional Land Partnerships program.
Partners in the consortium include Noosa Landcare, Gympie Landcare, Koala Action Gympie Region (KAGR) and Kabi Kabi Peoples Aboriginal Corporation.