Koala group expands efforts

June 30, 2022 BY

Planting progress: Koala Clancy Foundation president Janine Duffy said the August plantings will consist of five rounds with 30 people each. Photo: SUPPLIED

WITH over sixty thousand trees planted since 2016, non-profit group Koala Clancy Foundation is growing their operations into Golden Plains Shire.

The organisation aims to plant 30,000 trees between Bannockburn and Inverleigh over three years with the aim of aiding the region’s koala habitat.

Koala Clancy Foundation is seeking $373,000 for the endeavour, which president Janine Duffy said will improve the region’s habitat for koalas.

“Inverleigh’s nature reserve was left unfarmed because it’s really poor country,” she said.

“It’s so sandy and dry that the koalas can’t live there anyway, and all the surrounding fertile lands have been created into farmlands.

“So, the koalas need better access to quality food. That’s the only way we can keep their population alive and that’s why this is so important.”

The three-year project will begin in August with 5000 trees to be planted along Native Hut and Stony creeks at the Woolbrook Estate.

Over 150 volunteers are expected to assist with the initial effort, with 37 different tree species to be planted throughout the project.

River red gum and manna gum trees will take priority, which Ms Duffy said are a koala’s preferred food.

Of the funds required for the three-year project, $50,000 will go towards surveying the results while the remainder will support the revegetation efforts.

Koala Clancy Foundation aims to plant 10,000 trees in 2023, and Ms Duffy said their efforts will benefit more than just the koala population.

“Between our own weeding and revegetation, that’ll supress a lot of weeds like serrated tussock, which will lead to a healthier ecosystem over all,” she said.

“Both the creeks at Woolbrook flow into the Barwon, so this will also be really important for water quality in the region as well.

“Our main focus is the Barwon, Moorabool and the Little River because they’re all koala habitat rivers with existing populations.”