Land secured for koala sanctuary
A KOALA sanctuary established in March has almost doubled in size with the purchase of a key parcel of land at Peak Crossing.
Conservation group Queensland Trust for Nature recently purchased a 250ha grazing property which neighboured its 380ha Koala Crossing - a protected koala habitat.
The acquisition connects the habitat to Ipswich City Council's Finders-Goolman Conservation Estate, creating a 2100ha conservation reserve which QTFN sees as a vital habitat for koala conservation in the region.
QTFN general manager Ben O'Hara said the Flinders-Karawatha Corridor was the largest open eucalypt forest between Brisbane and the New South Wales border.
Mr O'Hara said the new land purchase was a cleared, grazing property that would be revegetated later in the year.
The group released the first rescued koalas into Koala Crossing - located off Mount Flinders Rd - in March.
About 20 volunteers were out at the reserve last week, for a koala spotting survey and to monitor the two released koalas.
Mr O'Hara said experts from the University of Queensland were onboard to monitor the koala population.
At least two new koalas were detected on the property and there were signs of other koalas using the reserve.
"It's a good, healthy ecosystem for koalas and there is evidence that the site has been well patronised," Mr O'Hara said.
The koala will soon be listed as a "vulnerable species" across Queensland following a recommendation of the state government's Species Technical Committee, an independent panel of scientists.
"The koalas decline has been continual over the past 20 years," Mr O'Hara said.
"We need to start reversing it now."
Koala in Danger
- The Australian Koala Foundation estimates there are likely to be less than 80,000 koalas remaining in Australia today and it could be as low as 43,000.
- Koalas are in serious decline suffering from the effects of habitat destruction, dog attacks, bushfires and road accidents.