Purpose and goals of the Eurobodalla Koalas Project.
Our volunteer project exists to revive the Eurobodalla’s wild koala population, through:
- assistance to landholders engaged in rehabilitation
The project also exists to help others exploit the Eurobodalla’s koala story for commercial and cultural reasons.
The project relies upon community interactions and the energy of contributors rather than a formal structure.
We enjoy in-kind sponsorship from The Coastwatchers Association Inc (the Eurobodalla’s not-for-profit environment group) and ad hoc assistance from government and other non-government entities.
Current priorities are:
- promotion and implementation of the Eurobodalla Koala Recovery Strategy
- public awareness and education campaign
- desktop and field-based research
Examples of things we try to do, are:
- publicise our scientific work
- contribute to the Eurobodalla’s post-fire and post-COVID-19 recovery by promoting re-imagined, nature-led economic initiatives
- engage directly with landholders, agencies and businesses
- seek venture capital for koala-oriented eco-businesses
- explain potential business models, and invite businesses and other potential partners to come up with their own
Update for Today and the Next 3 to 10 Years
The EKP is busily promoting the Revised Eurobodalla Koala Recovery Strategy (see Home Page).
The EKP is also engaged in a program of habitat surveys on private properties (about 25 completed). These surveys build our own database, contribute to the NSW Government’s state-wide database and provide landholders with:
- advice on their property’s capacity to assist potential koala population recovery
- its connectivity with neighbours
- eucalypt species selection for planting
Concurrently, two research tasks are nearing completion and their reports will be uploaded to this website by the end of 2021:
- a carrying capacity study of the East Lynne area (where koala evidence emerged in the December 2019 wildfire and in May 2020)
- a review of the habitat significance of Bodalla State Forest (where a koala was sighted soon after the January 2020 wildfire, and near where koalas were reported on private property prior to the fire)
As part of its public awareness campaign, the EKP is engaging with schools to offer students practical, science-based co-curricular activities. So far, an introductory talk has been given to one Eurobodalla secondary school, and five classes have engaged in plot surveys, analysis and reporting at a Canberra primary school.
The next 3 to 10 years
The next 3 to 10 years is a deliberate window for the EKP’s future work. The time frame 3 to 10 years has been chosen because the recently published report of our Wamban-Nerrigundah Project indicated:
- Eurobodalla koalas might be at the localized extinction point
- any post-fire natural population recovery would be evident in that period
- if recovery is not apparent in that time, reintroduction becomes a serious last-resort option, albeit risky
In 2022, a study of the Forestry Corporation NSW formal and informal reserve system is envisaged. The purpose is to judge the suitability of that system from the koala habitat protection and population recovery viewpoints.
Two major initiatives will occupy the longer time frame:
- implementing the Eurobodalla Koala Recovery Strategy in as many of its practical elements as are achievable by the volunteer project
- establishing a community-based survey to draw the conclusion about recovery or extinction, using techniques developed by researchers Lunney, Ellis et al