A rise in koala sightings in Gold Coast points to importance of habitat restoration
A rise in koala sightings in the Gold Coast hinterland have highlighted the importance of habitat restoration.
With recent bushfires decimating koala populations across eastern Australia, an ecological restoration and revegetation initiative in the Numinbah Valley is showing positive signs that koala numbers are increasing in the area.
The initiative, led by Seqwater with support from local community groups involved establishing a 270-hectare nature refuge in the Hinze Dam catchment to protect vulnerable wildlife and a number of threatened plant species.
Seqwater Field Ranger Mitchell Thomas-Carr said since the project began in 2014, Seqwater had been regularly monitoring wildlife activity through the use of surveillance devices.
“Not only have there been increased sightings of koalas in the area but we are also observing the emergence of other wildlife in the area including the long-nosed potoroo, which are now listed as vulnerable in Australia due to loss of habitat from land clearing,” Mr Thomas-Carr said.
“By monitoring wildlife within this nature refuge, we gain a better understanding on how our ecosystems are functioning and how to best protect and preserve fauna and flora.
“The increased sightings of koalas and other animals has certainly been encouraging and gives us hope that the work we are doing is making a difference.” Mr Thomas-Carr said some of the work involved tree-planting and site maintenance.
“We recently co-hosted the Gold Coast’s Biggest Tree Planting Day event with the Gold Coast Catchment Association where community members joined us in planting 15,000 trees in old pasture land within the nature refuge,” Mr Thomas-Carr said.
“Seqwater has also partnered with local community groups to undertake wild dog, cat and fox management programs to protect native wildlife from these threats.
“As well as the benefits to native wildlife, maintaining biodiversity and healthy ecosystems in our catchments is very important as healthy ecosystems generate and maintain good water quality.”