Koala History

Although records are sparse, koalas appear to have been abundant in and near the Eurobodalla Shire until the mid-19th Century (Townsend, 1849) [2]; then numbers seemingly declined Shire-wide but still persisted strongly in certain Eurobodalla locations until the end of that
Century (Warry, 2004) [3]. The 19th Century context included the contraction of the traditional Aboriginal population, a shift from colonial pastoral activity to smaller cleared farm holdings, hunting for
skins, a possible koala chlamydia epidemic, the “Federation drought”, timber-getting and gold mining (ngh heritage/DECCW, 2010) [4]. Nevertheless koalas appear to have persisted as resident groups in
isolated pockets into the second half of the 20th Century including close to towns (Lawler et al, perscomms) [5], a period of increasing urban/peri-urban development, road transport and more mechanical
forestry techniques. Koala numbers appear to have continued to decline towards possible functional extinction (ie only scattered records of apparently dispersing animals) by about the Year 2000 (NSW
Wildlife Atlas) [6]. Loss of habitat is considered the greatest contributor to the 20th Century decline (National Koala Conservation and Management Strategy, 2009) [7].

Statement taken from-EUROBODALLA KOALA RECOVERY STRATEGY – 2014 to 2026. The Coastwatchers Association Inc. www.coastwatchers.org.au

“I know the wild habitat is still there if everyone collaborates to preserve connectivity.”


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