Koalas in Byron Shire
Byron Coast Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management
The Byron Coast Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management (KPOM) provides a comprehensive and coordinated strategy which addresses all of the identified key threatening processes (habitat loss, road kills, dogs and fire) together with measures to stimulate koala movement within the Byron Coast planning area.
Where are we now?
Council, at the 4 August 2016 Ordinary Meeting, resolved (Resolution 16 -435) to amend the draft KPOM and submit it to the Director of the Department of Planning and Environment for approval in accordance with SEPP 44.
The KPOM has been updated and sent to the Director. Council is awaiting the Director's response.
Byron Coast Koala Habitat Study
The Habitat Study was undertaken in 2012 and provides the scientific background used to inform the development of the KPOM. The habitat study includes analysis of historical records, assessment of current koala population distribution and size; analysis of preferred food trees; mapping of koala habitat; identification of important linkages between high activity areas; assessment of threatening processes; and recommendations for the KPOM.
Koalas under threat
Koalas are an iconic Australian species, recognised internationally and loved locally. They are a uniquely Australian species depending primarily on Eucalypts for feed trees.
Unfortunately koalas have faced a number of threats to their survival which has resulted in significant declines to their population across their range. This decline has resulted in the listing of koalas as a Vulnerable species under both the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. These listings, in short, mean that unless steps are taken to protect and conserve koalas, they could become locally extinct. Byron Shire Council is commited to working with the community to prevent this from happening.
Where are the koalas in Byron Shire?
Koalas have been recorded over much of the shire however the habitat study identifies five areas of significant koala activity on the coast at Brunswick Heads, Tyagarah, Myocum, West Mullumbimby, West Byron. In the hinterland koala strongholds have been identified in Federal, Goonengerry, Wilson Creek and Montecollum.
Council encourages landholders to report koala sightings so they can be recorded into Council threatened flora and fauna database. This provides a record of koala locations which is used to improve their management.
Koala Connections is a project aimed at restoring and reconnecting koala habitat to provide a secure future for koalas on the NSW far north coast.
Byron Shire Council and Tweed Shire Council are working together on the Koala Connections project, which is being funded principally by a $2.1 million grant from the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Future Biodiversity Fund.
The program will work with landholders to improve and reconnect koala habitat and endangered ecological communities through tree planting, weed control, community engagement, invasive vertebrate pest management and fire management and planning.
To find out more go to Koala Connections.
- Friends of the Koala 24 hour Koala rescue 02 6622 1233
- Department of Environment
- National Koala Conservation and Management Strategy 2009-2014
- NSW Koala Recovery Plan
- Tweed Shire Council - Koalas