An initiative of Tweed and Byron Shire Council
Koala Connections aims to provide a secure future for koalas on the NSW far north coast by increasing the area, quality and connectivity of koala habitat in the Tweed and Byron shires.
The $3.5 million program will improve this habitat - to protect koalas and many other species of endangered fauna and flora - through tree planting, weed control, community engagement, invasive vertebrate pest management and fire management and planning.
Tweed Shire Council and Byron Shire Council are working together on the Koala Connections project, which is being funded principally by a $2 million grant from the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Future Biodiversity Fund.
The grant, from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, is complemented by cash and in-kind contributions of all project partners - including both councils, landholders and community groups.
Over four years, the project aims to plant:
- 30,000 koala food trees, with 2000 mixed shrubs and understorey plants, to create 75 hectares of effective fauna and flora linkages.
- 25 hectares of riparian and rainforest plantings, comprising 25,000 trees and shrubs and 6000 understorey plants to enhance Endangered Ecological Communities.
The project is designed to enhance inland to coastal linkages over approximately 20,000 hectares, and improve ecosystem resilience and adaptation to climate change. In addition to tree and shrub planting, weed control will help the habitat to restore itself.
The goal is to see evidence of improved natural regeneration after five years, on 225 hectares of koala habitat and Endangered Ecological Communities (EEC) listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) and the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act (1995).
Works will include:
- Tree planting and restoration on private and public land.
Focusing on preferred koala feed trees but also enhancing biodiversity by including a mix of species. Removing weeds and encouraging natural regeneration on targeted sites.
- Invasive vertebrate pest management
Reducing the short and long-term impacts of exotic fauna anddomestic pets on native flora and fauna.
- Fire management
Decreasing fire frequency in koala habitat and fire sensitive endangered ecological communities.
- Community education
Informing groups and individuals about the habitat needs of native flora and fauna and encouraging protection and restoration of ecological communities.
The on-ground and educational activities will be guided by the Tweed Coast and Byron Coast Koala Habitat Studies.
The below image demonstrates the success of Koala Connections plantings:
A recent tree planting
Click the pic to watch the You Tube clip ....
with thanks to Jesse Blackadder.
Like to know more or be involved? Contact...
Koala Connections Project Officer
Byron Shire Council
Phone: 02 6626 7068