Volunteers to restore koala habitat as concern grows for species

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The BELLARINE Landcare Group’s (BLG) mission to replenish the environments of the region’s depleted koala population will get a much needed boost on February 28 when a group of volunteers travel to Wallington for a joint event.

The national volunteer body, Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA), will coordinate 30 volunteers to help preserve and maintain a key ‘Koala Corridors’ project site along Lake Connewarre.

The event is the third activity carried out so far by CVA as part of the organisation’s Revive Our Wetlands initiative and more are to come.

The project was launched after 2,000 native trees were planted in 2020 on an escarpment next to Lake Connewarre funded by the 2019/20 Victorian Landcare Grant.

The trees, once grown, will then hopefully house native koala species to the area as they did before.

“Day attendees will participate in active management, including removing vine guards and bamboo stakes, organizing them for reuse, and participating in ecological assessments of progress and growth,” Henry said. Kisby, CVA project manager.

“With over 95% of the remaining vegetation cleared on the Bellarine, the remaining native vegetation is extremely important for biodiversity conservation.

“Therefore, it is important that groups like the BLG – which promote biodiversity and the sustainable use of land and water resources to create a healthy and natural environment in the Bellarine Peninsula – are well supported.

Three states along the east coast, Queensland, NSW and ACT, have designated the koala species as endangered.

“In Victoria, koalas face the same threats of habitat loss and fragmentation,” Kisby added.

“It is essential that koala management approaches remain active and supported to ensure that Victoria’s koala populations and habitat are safe, healthy and sustainable.”

BLG has been committed to preserving wetland habitats by protecting and enhancing surrounding watersheds for over 27 years.

BLG host Sophie Small said that without replanting the habitat, ensuring the survival of koalas in the area would not be an option.

“Without native vegetation, koalas and a whole range of other native animals struggle to survive,” Ms Small said.

“Koalas have declined to the point that they may no longer be present on the Bellarine. We have had no reported sightings of local koalas for a few years.

“In particular, we learned the importance of placing the right gum trees around streams and dams to ensure the trees have enough moisture in their leaves to allow koalas to survive increasingly hot summers. .

“We are very grateful for the help from Conservation Volunteers. The extra help will make all the difference to landowners and ensure the success of the revegetation project.

Attendees meeting on the day at 598 Wallington-Ocean Grove Road will also help document bird sightings as part of the event.

For more information, contact Henri at [email protected]or call 0428 233 266.

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