This Weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the Bribie Gone Wild Event and this is an excerpt of what I had to say:
Koalas continue to lose habitat and home and are challenged by disease and urban threats such as dogs and cars. At times, their plight seems daunting despite the good work many do to ensure a future for them.
It was announced yesterday that the Qld Government will list the koala Statewide as Vulnerable. This is no "new" news as we have known for years that they were heading towards a crisis. No government plan has thus far stemmed their decline so I am less than optimistic that this will make the needed difference that is required for their future conservation, however I am by no means hopeless and collectively, we can make a difference. We must "Act Locally" and "Think Globally"!
This past year I have faced many challenges. The biggest by far is receiving a phone call that my daughter was in an accident in NZ that took the life of her teacher and best friend, Gabriel. In an instant, our family and the families involved were sent through a trajectory of trauma and grief that will have lifelong impact.
I imagine that koalas feel a similar shock when the forests they live in are disconnected, fragmented and cleared to the ground. How can this be justified? How can this be stopped? By speaking up loudly and saying "NO MORE"!
Recently, I walked the trails in NNP with someone from Victoria that came to specifically find a koala that we know and follow. His name is Cuddles and he often greets visitors from far and wide from his favourite spot perched high in the gum trees in Tea Tree Bay.
“Koalas are an apex herbivore”, Janine Duffy stated and this stuck for me. They sit as an ambassador for all species under their umbrella and if we save koalas and their trees we save so much more!
So HOW do we do this??
1.) Koalas require better protection, as do their trees. We can support a koala protection act which is being driven by the AKF: https://www.savethekoala.com/our-work/koala-protection-act
QKC Inc supports this and I encourage you to do the same. After all, what do we have to lose?
2.) Continue to plant and reconnect habitat. We are having discussions with local Landcare groups to connect existing colonies.
3.) Continued support of research and science. we are supporting a local initiative on the Sunshine Coast to see koala counts be more accurate through he great works of Romane Cristecu and her "koala poo sniffing dog" Maya. This is exciting news! It will help provide more accurate ground-truthing as to where the koalas are now and how we can help them.
The greatest challenge that koalas face is not necessarily just their declining numbers and vulnerability. It is the lack of connection and collaboration between those of us who support them in our work.
Our only Hope for Koalas is to Unite, Step up and Become Active.
Together we can make a difference and the time to do that is now: today!
Find out how YOU can make a difference as we work together.
Join us today and be a part of the change for tomorrow!