As we await our anticipated Community Planting Day, we show our collaborative spirit by helping others. Over the past few months, we have assisted other groups in planting trees for koalas and the other species under their umbrella. At Girraween Sports Grounds and in Sunshine Beach, we have joined forces and volunteered our time with other local Bushcare Groups. In sharing our time and efforts we have an opportunity to engage in the collaborative efforts within our local community whilst “doing” and it gives us a sense of purpose and engagement in a time when animal conservation efforts are often disheartening.
May the trees thrive and grow to support our local wildlife in the Noosa Shire.
We provided an educational follow up to our young partners at the Montessori International College in Maroochydore. The 120 trees planted in August 2018 are growing and overcoming the difficulties of that 1st year of growth where pests and weather events are challenging. The students were engaged and curious with a passion to care for the forest they are growing. They are armed now with the solution to help their trees along through organic pest management and this allows them to understand and take ownership of the project that has inspired them. Continued engagement will connect us as we see a fodder farm grow for our local wildlife carers within our community.
We have continued our dialogue with government regarding habitat loss and fragmentation through collaborative efforts of a Landclearing Alliance. There is silence regarding the requested moratorium whilst the wheels of politics turn in an upcoming federal election. It is a critical issue for koalas as is climate change and we ask that leadership will be seen amongst candidates. Time will tell as will political will and action or inaction.
I have had multiple conversations with government and was fortunate to meet with the Director General of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) this past month. Promises and agreements of open communication are expected throughout the upcoming process of tender for the Bruce Highway upgrade from Cooroy to Curra. We will continue conversations as stakeholders with a focus on best standards of practice as this project moves forward and are scheduling a local meeting to follow up with conversation, questions and engagement with multiple stakeholders in the coming month. The best outcome would be to clear no koala habitat, which will not be the case however, as the legal framework currently in place does not put habitat 1st. We expect no animals will come to harm and believe that better legal framework must be put in place in order to see better outcomes for koalas on a local, State and Federal level. Education, open transparency and continued engagement are the keys to this success.
Submissions have been put together by our secretary regarding clearing of koala habitat at Attunga Heights in Noosa, offsets and to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services regarding ecotourism. A success regarding stopping the zipline proposal at Mt. Coottha was welcome news to our members with reason to celebrate.
I attended this celebration and also gave a talk regarding the work QKC is doing with members of the Wilderness Society (TWS) present on the night.
I provided an education presentation at the workshop with Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) which was well received.
We continue to be active in supporting the Landclearing Alliance’s efforts of moratorium and we look to government to respond positively to being a part of the solution to protect our precious wildlife and consider this moratorium in response to the expert koala expert panels recommendations promised.
A Rights of Nature Workshop was provided by Michelle Maloney of the Australian Earth Law Alliance (AELA) in conjunction with Friends of the Forest and we attended this as well. An ongoing conversation will be facilitated regarding a Green Economy which would give rights to nature and provide a “new” way forward in conservation efforts.
Wild Koala Day was celebrated on the 5thMay in collaboration with Moreton Bay Koala Rescue and other wildlife organisations in Caboolture this year. A few new members joined us through these efforts. “Kool’a” the koala was present thanks to International Fund for Animal’s (IFAW) support and great fun was had by all! Wild Koala Day is an opportunity to put the koala in focus through the efforts of koala focused groups nationally and we are grateful to be a part of it each year. I was interviewed on ABC radio on the 3rdMay for this and an interesting “koala fact” was brought up in this conversation.
Did you know that a female koala has 3 vaginas and that male koalas have 2 penises?? Yes, it really is true! In the female, 2 vaginas are present until fertilization and then a 3rdvagina grows and becomes the birth canal, closing up after the birth. The male has a bifurcated (two headed) penis which coincides with the females unique anatomy!
So, on a more serious note, our upcoming engagement in the Noosa Koala Recovery Project is about to begin! We await permits to be acquired for our 15thJune Community Planting Day and State Government Environment Minister LeeAnne Enoch is in conversation with QPWS to expedite these permits to begin the planting of 24,000 trees at the Ringtail site.
We met with Hancock Queensland Plantation (HQP) representatives, Noosa and District Landcare Group and Noosa Council this past week. Plans are being made for the upcoming harvest of Pine and Messmate (Eucalyptus Obliqua) within the plantation at Yurol Forest and we are working closely with industry to make sure that no koala comes to harm. We discussed signage efforts and requirements with a speed reduction potential during the clearing. QKC rescuers will be invited to train in a safety induction so that we can be available to access the site for any health checks or rescues during the project. HQP is also developing a procedural guideline for managing koalas onsite.
Successful regeneration and forest establishment can only happen when we work in collaboration. This project has the potential for a successful outcome with growing connection for koalas in the Noosa Region. The future is brighter for healthy koalas in a connected landscape!
Until next month…