From the Friends of the Koalas
Newsletter no. 92, Spring 2013
Habitat Days: 1st Saturday of the month ph 59 522 407 for details.
5th Oct, 2nd Nov, and 7th Dec (Bush Bank end of year gathering)
Koala Counts: 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Koala Conservation Centre at
– meet in the car park. 8th Oct, 12th Nov, and 10th Dec
Barb Martin Bushbank: Community indigenous plant nursery-open Wednesdays
, first Saturday of the month and by appointment.
Drought tolerant, bird and wildlife attracting, habitat creating plants available.
New volunteers always welcome ph. 0407 348 807
Heritage Centre Meeting Room, Cowes.
Speaker: PINP ranger Pete Cleary will speak about his ranger experiences.
Sun 17th Nov. Red Rocks Coast Care working bee. Mett at RR car park 10am
Spring began in earnest with the 15th Birthday celebration at the Barb Martin Bush Bank, which is now a wonderful community facility (see p. 6 for more details)
spring rains have created a green lush landscape – the back page photograph
shows a blooming
On a more serious
note Friends of the Koalas attended the Panel Hearing for Planning Scheme
Amendment C132 and made a presentation on 2nd August against the
rezoning of the land to Special Use Zone to facilitate a residential
development and expanded golf course in
A letter was also
sent to state Environment Minister Ryan Smith regarding concerns for the
treatment of Koalas in eucalyptus plantations in
While FOK’s membership numbers remain fairly healthy, the number of active members continues to decline, making it difficult to do as much as we would like with Habitat Days and Koala Counts.
A letter was written to the Phillip Island Nature Park (PINP) suggesting a long term planting project to encourage new volunteers and give them a sense of ownership.
A copy of the 2013 Woodlands Vegetation Management Plan was sent by PINP, which hopefully will provide some revegetation programs for volunteers to embrace, but our suggestion was not accepted. To ensure a motivated group of FOK volunteers a plan for the future is badly needed. In the meantime why not join in on Habitat Days and Koala Counts!
FOK Ranger’s Report Spring 2013
September is here! Meaning footy finals, school holidays and of course spring!
There is lots of activity around the Koala Conservation Centre at the moment with many different bird species nesting and Echidna and snake sightings aplenty.
The male koalas are also beginning to vocalise, which is great viewing for the visitors.
Despite this we have no visible joeys as of yet.
We are hoping that there are some in pouches which we will confirm soon during our annual catches.
The last few weeks saw a wild male koala hit on the road outside the Koala Conservation Centre.
He was unfortunately too badly injured and had to be euthanased .
Nautilus, one of our breeding males, spent the last week in a pen with an inflamed third eyelid.
This was most likely from a scuffle with another male.
He has recovered and is back in the woodland boardwalk.
Apart from this we have had no other injured koalas so far this season.
Work is still ongoing in our north koala plantation.
We have prepared a site for around 800 E.viminalis which Newhaven College and other volunteers will help us in planting.
There is still a lot of work to go in the plantations as older and unpalatable trees must be removed to accommodate new seedlings.
The ‘life’ of a plantation usually only lasts around 15 years before it can no longer harvest usable browse.
Our planting regime around the Koala Conservation Centre is also changing to accommodate the recommendations from a recent bushfire management assessment.
You may notice more evergreen plants going in, such as triggers and lomandras, as we move away from planting the more flammable species; tussocks, poas etc, around the Koala Conservation Centre assets.
Rangers at the Koala Conservation Centre will be practicing their knots and climbing routines in the next month as we prepare for the annual health checks which will be held the week of the Melbourne Cup.
Lock the dates in your diary and feel free to come along during the catches to see some ranger and koalas in action.
In July it was planned to do tree planting in the Oswin Roberts Reserve but strong winds and rain cancelled this idea, so instead FOK members spread mulch on the pathway leading to the Bush Bank. Mention must be made of Jan Fleming, FOK committee member, who volunteers regularly at the Bush Bank on the first Saturday of the month as well as on Wednesdays – a great effort!
On August the 3rd six volunteers (Jim, Elaine, Maurice, Gil, Marg and Patsy) planted out two new revegetation plots at Conservation Hill under the supervision of ranger Stefan Poll and revegetation officer Mark Merryful. Three eucalypts and 3 casuarinas were planted in each plot, together with understorey species such as lomandra and dianellas.
These monthly counts of woodland koalas at the Koala Conservation Centre (not those in close viewing areas) have been conducted for more than 20 years. The KCC opened officially in 1992. The counts provide a check on the animals, and what area and tree species they are in. You don’t need to be an expert to help – just have a pair of sharp eyes as koalas are surprisingly difficult to find. We would like to see some more counters on the second Tuesday of the month at .
The August count saw the ‘discovery’ of recently installed seating in the centre. The most popular for the koala counters were those overlooking the wetland, as this is a great place to rest and look at the waterbirds. Regular counter Jim was particularly pleased with the new seats.
Bush Bank Birthday
September 4 a lunch was held at the Barb Martin Bush Bank to celebrate the
indigenous plant nursery’s fifteenth birthday. The Bush Bank was officially
Letters and Submissions
Letter to state Minister for Environment
The Hon Ryan Smith MP
Minister for Environment and Climate Change
Re Koalas in Plantations
At a recent committee meeting of Friends of the Koalas Inc. it was
agreed that we write to express our concern over koala deaths and injuries
occurring during timber harvesting in
Recent media reports have revealed Wildlife
Koalas are of course attracted to plantations as they provide excellent habitat and a great food supply especially in areas where there is little habitat in surrounding areas.
Timber companies state that protocols are in place to prevent koala injuries but we do not believe that they are being adequately enforced.
The continuing reports of koalas being injured or killed are too serious to be ignored.
Friends of the Koalas would like to see a more independent and rigorous check of protocols to prevent this regrettable situation from continuing.
Providing wildlife corridors and alternative habitat adjacent to plantations could also give the koalas a chance to escape.
C132 Planning Panel Hearing
The C132 Amendment
to the Bass Coast Planning Scheme proposes a rezoning of land on the eastern
Draft Victorian Coastal Strategy
This draft is an
opportunity to have a say on the management of our coast and marine
environment. To view the draft visit www.vcc.vic.gov.au
Submissions close on 4th December. Information sessions will
be held across the state, including one on 21 October at the Silverwater Resort
Flinders Greg Hunt, now Federal Environment Minister, is proposing a team of 10
young local trainees to work on the
Finally after many
years plans are underway to rehabilitate this area of land on the