If you spot a koala, let us know

Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula is calling on locals to report koala sightings online as part of a new project to find out more about the koala population on Eyre Peninsula, and their effects on our woodlands.

Reports of koala sightings are occurring more often in places such as Coffin Bay, Coulta, Wanilla and Charlton Gully, quite a distance from where they are normally seen at Mikkira.

Landscape Biologist Dr Greg Kerr says koalas on Eyre Peninsula are descendants of six koalas that were introduced in a small area of rough-barked manna gum woodlands at Mikkira on southern Eyre Peninsula in 1969.

“Manna gums are one of the koala’s favourite foods but now koalas have slowly dispersed across southern Eyre Peninsula and they are now feeding on a broad range of tree species,” Greg said.

“Anyone who sees a koala in the wild on Eyre Peninsula is encouraged to record it and contribute to the EP Koalas citizen science project by answering a few questions such as where was it seen, what sort of tree it was in, and if you have a photo there is a function to upload it.”

Project Coordinator Andrew Freeman said koala surveys and counts will be conducted to assess the current population and distribution.

“We will also be undertaking vegetation assessments to gauge if koalas are impacting woodlands,” Andrew said.

“For those woodlands that need assistance as the trees’ health is declining (due to over browsing) we will undertake activities to try and improve the health of the woodland communities that koalas live in.”

The results of these activities, such as the citizen science and formal koala count surveys, baseline monitoring of habitat and drafting of new management plan, will help Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula, tourism companies, landholders and the community decide the best way to manage the woodland communities and koala populations in the future.

People who sight a koala are asked to report them at www.ep.koalas.com.au.

For more information visit www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/eyrepeninsula/get-involved or call Project Coordinator Andrew Freeman on 8688 3111.

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