Protecting Koala Habitat Corridors in the South-East Corner
Decades of habitat loss, disease, drought and bushfires have taken their toll on the koala population of Australia. Last month, the unfortunate news was announced: many Governments along the Eastern Coast of Australia have officially listed the Koala as Endangered. The news, though unwelcome, will prompt change and inspire an opportunity to make some changes. One opportunity that continues to gain traction is the Koala Habitat Restoration Partnership Program (KHRPP).
Since it’s commencement in 2019, the Koala Habitat Restoration Partnership Program is playing an important role in the habitat restoration component of the Queensland Government’s Koala Conservation Strategy, partnering with landholders, local governments and other non-for-profit organisations. The program has already restored 245 hectares of koala habitat in South-East Queensland.
Across seven council and privately owned project sites, the Koala Habitat Restoration Partnership Program has established more than 100 hectares of new koala habitat through revegetation projects and assisted the recovery of more than 145 hectares of naturally regenerating habitat in areas of strategic importance. This includes increasing habitat for existing koala populations and connecting these habitats on a landscape scale.
In 2021, two community volunteer planting events welcomed more than 100 volunteers and, across the whole project, approximately 170,000 koala food trees were put in the ground. These future eucalypt forests will sequester an excess of 200,000 tonnes of carbon and they will provide crucial habitat for our koala population for generations to come.
Between 2022-2024 the program will give away 15,000 koala food trees and conduct four citizen science events to bolster our work across the community in South-East Queensland. Queensland Trust for Nature are proud to also be working alongside the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science on an $8.5 million Koala Habitat Offset project in the Northern Brigalow Belt of Queensland. This program will focus on planting of non-remnant koala habitat trees that are endemic to the site and improving the condition of habitat in native regrowth and remnant areas. The koala has been declared endangered and programs like these have become a crucial piece to help stem the decline of this iconic species.